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Full text of "She stoops to conquer : or, The mistakes of a night"

introduce tfftiss Constance 
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ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR 



ACT II. SCENE I. 

HASTINGS. Give me leave to introduce Miss 

Constance Neville to your 
acquaintance . Frontispiece 

ACT I. SCENE I. 

Page 

MRS. HARDCASTLE. The two Miss Hoggs . . n 

HARDCASTLE. When I went to make a bow, I 

popt my bald head into Mrs. 
Frizzle's face . . 15 

MRS. HARDCASTLE. Won't you give papa and me a 

little of your company, lovee ? 1 9 

Miss HARDCASTLE. My dear papa, say no more . 25 

Miss HARDCASTLE. Tell me, Constance : how do I look 

this evening? . . 29 

ACT I. SCENE II. 

SECOND FELLOW. I loves to hear him sing, bekeays 

he never gives us nothing 
that 's low 35 

3 



She Stoops to Conquer 

ACT II. SCENE I. 

Page 

DIGGORY. Then, ecod, your worship must not 

tell the story of Old Grouse 
in the gun-room . . 51 

HARDCASTLE. Half the differences of the parish 

are adjusted in this very 
parlour . . . 61 

MARLOW. Item, a pork pie, a boiled rabbit 

and sausages, and a dish of 
tiff-taff-taffety cream ! . 67 

HASTINGS. Miss Neville, by all that's happy ! . 73 

Miss HARDCASTLE. You were going to observe, sir 79 

TONY. What do you follow me for, Cousin 

Con? ... 85 

MRS. HARDCASTLE. Back to back, my pretties, that 

Mr. Hastings may see you . 91 

TONY. I have seen her and sister cry over 

a book for an hour together 97 

ACT III. SCENE I. 

HARDCASTLE. Well, my Kate, I see you have 

changed your dress, as I bid 
you .... 107 

TONY. Say they 're lost, and call me to 

bear witness . . . 115 

4 



She Stoops to Conquer 

ACT III. SCENE I. 

Page 

Miss HARDCASTLE. Tell me, Pimple, how do you like 

my present dress ? . . 123 

MARLOW. Never saw a more sprightly, mali- 

cious eye . . .129 

MARLOW. Keep up the spirit of the place . 133 

ACT IV. SCENE I. 

MARLOW. By Heaven, she weeps . . 151 

Miss NEVILLE. Who can help admiring that 

pleasant, broad, red, thought- 
less ah! it's a bold face 157 

MRS. HARDCASTLE. And you, you great ill-fashioned 

oaf . . . .165 

ACT V. SCENE I. 

SIR CHARLES. And how did he behave, madam? 179 

MARLOW. Does this look like security ? Does 

this look like confidence ? . 193 



DRAMATIS PERSONS 

SIR CHARLES MARLOW. 

YOUNG MARLOW, his Son. 

HARDCASTLE. 

HASTINGS. 

TONY LUMPKIN. 

DIGGORY. 

MRS. HARDCASTLE. 

Miss HARDCASTLE. 

Miss NEVILLE. 

MAID. 

Landlord, Servants, etc. etc. 



SCENE I 

A chamber in an old-fashioned house. 
Enter MRS. HARDCASTLE and MR. HARDCASTLE. 

MRS. HARD. I vow, Mr. Hardcastle, you're very par- 
ticular. Is there a creature in the whole country, 
but ourselves, that does not take a trip to town 
now and then to rub off the rust a little ? There 's 
the two Miss Hoggs, and our neighbour Mrs. 
Grigsby, go to take a month's polishing every winter. 

HARD. Ay, and bring back vanity and affectation to 
last them the whole year. I wonder why London 
cannot keep its own fools at home. In my time, the 
follies of the town crept slowly among us, but now 
they travel faster than a stage-coach. Its fopperies 
come down, not only as inside passengers, but in the 
very basket. 

MRS. HARD. Ay, your times were fine times, indeed ; 
you have been telling us of them for many a long 
year. Here we live in an old rumbling mansion, that 
looks for all the world like an inn, but that we never 
see company. Our best visitors are old Mrs. Oddfish, 
the curate's wife, and little Cripplegate, the lame 
B 9 




<W 




sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

dancing-master ; and all our entertainment, your old 
stories of Prince Eugene and the Duke of Marl- 
borough. I hate such old-fashioned trumpery. 

HARD. And I love it. I love everything that 's old : 
old friends, old times, old manners, old books, old 
wine ; and, I believe, Dorothy \Jaking her hand'], 
you '11 own I have been pretty fond of an old wife. 

MRS. HARD. Lord, Mr. Hardcastle, you 're for ever at 
your Dorothys, and your old wives. You may be a 
Darby, but I '11 be no Joan, I promise you. I 'm not 
so old as you 'd make me, by more than one good 
year. Add twenty to twenty, and make money of 
that. 

HARD. Let me see ; twenty added to twenty, makes 
just fifty and seven. 

MRS. HARD. It's false, Mr. Hardcastle: I was but 
twenty when Tony, that I had by Mr. Lumpkin, my 
first husband, was born ; and he 's not come to years 
of discretion yet. 

HARD. Nor ever will, I dare answer for him. Ay, you 
have taught him finely. 

MRS. HARD. No matter, Tony Lumpkin has a good 
fortune. My son is not to live by his learning. I 
don't think a boy wants much learning to spend 
fifteen hundred a year. 

HARD. Learning, quotha! A mere composition of 
tricks and mischief. 

MRS. HARD. Humour, my dear : nothing but humour. 
Come, Mr. Hardcastle, you must allow the boy a 
little humour. 

13 



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. 3 







UJfien ^J went to make a 6ou>, z/ popt my 6 aid fie ad 

Mo yTlrs. ct rizzle s face. 

ACT 1. SCENE 1 




sc. L] She Stoops to Conquer 

HARD. I 'd sooner allow him a horse-pond. If burning 
the footman's shoes, frighting the maids, worrying 
the kittens be humour, he has it. It was but 
yesterday he fastened my wig to the back of my chair, 
and when I went to make a bow, I popt my bald 
head into Mrs. Frizzle's face. 

MRS. HARD. And am I to blame ? The poor boy was 
always too sickly to do any good. A school would 
be his death. When he comes to be a little stronger, 
who knows what a year or two's Latin may do for him? 

HARD. Latin for him ! A cat and fiddle. No, no, the 
ale-house and the stable are the only schools he'll 
ever go to. 

MRS. HARD. Well, we must not snub the poor boy 
now, for I believe we shan't have him long among 
us. Anybody that looks in his face may see he's 
consumptive. 

HARD. Ay, if growing too fat be one of the symptoms. 

MRS. HARD. He coughs sometimes. 

HARD. Yes, when his liquor goes the wrong way. 

MRS. HARD. I 'm actually afraid of his lungs. 

HARD. And truly so am I ; for he sometimes whoops 
like a speaking trumpet. [TONY hallooing behind the 
scenes^ Oh, there he goes a very consumptive 
figure, truly. 

Enter TONY, crossing the stage. 

MRS. HARD. Tony, where are you going, my charmer ? 
Won't you give papa and me a little of your company, 
lovee ? 

c 17 




vt 




CUon t you yioe papa and me a little 
of your company, looee? 




sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

TONY. I 'm in haste, mother ; I cannot stay. 

MRS. HARD. You shan't venture out this raw evening, 

my dear ; you look most shockingly. 
TONY. I can't stay, I tell you. The Three Pigeons 

expects me down every moment. There 's some fun 

going forward. 

HARD. Ay ; the ale-house, the old place : I thought so. 
MRS. HARD. A low, paltry set of fellows. 
TONY. Not so low neither. There's Dick Muggins 

the exciseman, Jack Slang the horse-doctor, little 

Aminadab that grinds the music-box, and Tom 

Twist that spins the pewter platter. 
MRS. HARD. Pray, my dear, disappoint them for one 

night at least. 
TONY. As for disappointing them, I should not so much 

mind ; but I can't abide to disappoint myself. 
MRS. HARD. [Detaining him.~\ You shan't go. 
TONY. I will, I tell you. 
MRS. HARD. I say you shan't. 
TONY. We '11 see which is the strongest, you or 1 1 

\Exit, hauling her out. 

HARDCASTLE, solus. 

HARD. Ay, there goes a pair that only spoil each other. 
But is not the whole age in a combination to drive 
sense and discretion out of doors? There's my 
pretty darling Kate ; the fashions of the times have 
almost infected her too. By living a year or two in 
town, she is as fond of gauze, and French frippery, 
as the best of them. 

21 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT i. 

Enter Miss HARDCASTLE. 

HARD. Blessings on my pretty innocence ! Brest out 
as usual, my Kate. Goodness ! What a quantity of 
superfluous silk hast thou got about thee, girl ! I 
could never teach the fools of this age that the 
indigent world could be clothed out of the trim- 
mings of the vain. 

Miss HARD. You know our agreement, sir. You allow 
me the morning to receive and pay visits, and to 
dress in my own manner ; and in the evening, I put 
on my housewife's dress to please you. 

HARD. Well, remember I insist on the terms of our 
agreement ; and, by the bye, I believe I shall have 
occasion to try your obedience this very evening. 

Miss HARD. I protest, sir, I don't comprehend your 
meaning. 

HARD. Then, to be plain with you, Kate, I expect the 
young gentleman I have chosen to be your husband 
from town this very day. I have his father's letter, 
in which he informs me his son is set out, and that 
he intends to follow himself shortly after. 

Miss HARD. Indeed ! I wish I had known something 
of this before. Bless me, how shall I behave ? It 's 
a thousand to one I shan't like him ; our meeting 
will be so formal, and so like a thing of business, 
that I shall find no room for friendship or esteem. 

HARD. Depend upon it, child, I '11 never control your 
choice ; but Mr. Marlow, whom I have pitched upon, 
is the son of my old friend, Sir Charles Marlow, of 

22 

9**- 



I 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

whom you have heard me talk so often. The young 
gentleman has been bred a scholar, and is designed 
for an employment in the service of his country. I 
am told he is a man of an excellent understanding. 
Miss HARD. Is he? 
HARD. Very generous. 
Miss HARD. I believe I shall like him. 
HARD. Young and brave. 
Miss HARD. I 'm sure I shall like him. 
HARD. And very handsome. 
Miss HARD. My dear papa, say no more [kissing his 

hand} ; he 's mine, I '11 have him ! 
HARD. And to crown all, Kate, he 's one of the most 
bashful and reserved young fellows in all the world. 
Miss HARD. Eh ! you have frozen me to death again. 
That word reserved has undone all the rest of his 
accomplishments. A reserved lover, it is said, 
always makes a suspicious husband. 
HARD. On the contrary, modesty seldom resides in 
a breast that is not enriched with nobler virtues. 
It was the very feature in his character that first 
struck me. 

Miss HARD. He must have more striking features to 
catch me, I promise you. However, if he be so 
young, so handsome, and so everything, as you 
mention, I believe he '11 do still. I think I '11 
have him. 
HARD. Ay, Kate, but there is still an obstacle. It's 

more than an even wager, he may not have you. 
Miss HARD. My dear papa, why will you mortify one 

23 








dear papa, say no more. 

ACT 1, SCENE 1 




sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

so? Well, if he refuses, instead of breaking my 
heart at his indifference, I '11 only break my glass for 
its flattery, set my cap to some newer fashion, and 
look out for some less difficult admirer. 
HARD. Bravely resolved ! In the meantime I '11 go 
prepare the servants for his reception ; as we seldom 
see company, they want as much training as a 
company of recruits the first day's muster. \Exit. 

Miss HARDCASTLE, sola. 

Miss HARD. This news of papa's puts me all in a 
flutter. Young handsome : these he puts last ; but 
I put them foremost. Sensible good-natured : I 
like all that. But then reserved, and sheepish : 
that 's much against him. Yet, can't he be cured of 
his timidity, by being taught to be proud of his wife ? 
Yes ; and can't I But, I vow, I 'm disposing of the 
husband, before I have secured the lover. 

Enter Miss NEVILLE. 

Miss HARD. I 'm glad you 're come, Neville, my dear. 
Tell me, Constance : how do I look this evening ? 
Is there anything whimsical about me? Is it one 
of my well-looking days, child? Am I in face 
to-day ? 

Miss NEV. Perfectly, my dear. Yet, now I look again 
bless me ! sure no accident has happened among 
the canary birds, or the gold fishes. Has your 
brother or the cat been meddling ? Or, has the last 
novel been too moving? 

27 




Z/ell me, Constance: haio do ^J look this eoening? 







sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

Miss HARD. No; nothing of all this. I have been 
threatened I can scarce get it out I have been 
threatened with a lover. 
-Miss NEV. And his name 

Miss HARD. Is Marlow. 

Miss NEV. Indeed ! 

Miss HARD. The son of Sir Charles Marlow. 

Miss NEV. As I live, the most intimate friend of Mr. 
Hastings, my admirer. They are never asunder. 
I believe you must have seen him when we lived in 
town. 

Miss HARD. Never. 

Miss NEV. He's a very singular character, I assure 
you. Among women of reputation and virtue, he is 
the modestest man alive ; but his acquaintance give 
him a very different character among creatures of 
another stamp : you understand me. 

Miss HARD. An odd character, indeed. I shall never 
be able to manage him. What shall I do ? Pshaw, 
think no more of him, but trust to occurrences for 
success. But how goes on your own affair, my 
dear? Has my mother been courting you for my 
brother Tony, as usual ? 

Miss NEV. I have just come from one of our agreeable 
tte-a-ttes. She has been saying a hundred tender 
things, and setting off her pretty monster as the very 
pink of perfection. 

Miss HARD. And her partiality is such, that she 
actually thinks him so. A fortune like yours is no 
small temptation. Besides, as she has the sole 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT i. 

management of it, I 'm not surprised to see her 
unwilling to let it go out of the family. 

Miss NEV. A fortune like mine, which chiefly consists 
in jewels, is no such mighty temptation. But at any 
rate, if my dear Hastings be but constant, I make no 
doubt to be too hard for her at last. However, I let 
her suppose that I am in love with her son, and she 
never once dreams that my affections are fixed upon 
another. 

Miss HARD. My good brother holds out stoutly. I 
could almost love him for hating you so. 

Miss NEV. It is a good-natured creature at bottom, 
and I 'm sure would wish to see me married to any- 
body but himself. But my aunt's bell rings for our 
afternoon's walk round the improvements. Allans / 
Courage is necessary, as our affairs are critical. 

Miss HARD. Would it were bed-time, and all were 
well. \Exeunt. 




SCENE II 

An ale-house room. Several shabby Fellows, with 
punch and tobacco. TONY at the head of the table, 
a little higher than the rest ; a mallet in his hand. 

OMNES. Hurrea, hurrea, hurrea, bravo ! 

i FEL. Now, gentlemen, silence for a song. The 

'squire is going to knock himself down for a song. 
OMNES. Ay, a song, a song ! 
TONY. Then I '11 sing you, gentlemen, a song I made 

upon this ale-house, the Three Pigeons. 

SONG. 

Let schoolmasters puzzle their brain, 

With grammar, and nonsense, and learning ; 
Good liquor, I stoutly maintain, 

Gives genus a better discerning. 
Let them brag of their heathenish gods, 

Their Lethes, their Styxes, and Stygians ; 
Their quis, and their quces, and their quods, 

They 're all but a parcel of pigeons. 

Toroddle, toroddle, toroll. 

When Methodist preachers come down, 

A-preaching that drinking is sinful, 
I '11 wager the rascals a crown, 

They always preach best with a skin-full. 

E 33 



s z'a e<zA ///TZ S//T^, bekeays fie neoer 
gioes us nothing that s low. 




sc. ii.] She Stoops to Conquer 

But when you come down with your pence, 

For a slice of their scurvy religion, 
I '11 leave it to all men of sense, 

But you, my good friend, are the pigeon. 

Toroddle, toroddle, toroll. 

Then come, put the jorum about, 

And let us be merry and clever ; 
Our hearts and our liquors are stout, 

Here's the Three Jolly Pigeons for ever! 
Let some cry up woodcock or hare, 

Your bustards, your ducks, and your widgeons, 
But of all the birds in the air, 

Here's a health to the Three Jolly Pigeons. 

Toroddle, toroddle, toroll. 

OMNES. Bravo! bravo! 

1 FEL. The 'squire has got spunk in him. 

2 FEL. I loves to hear him sing, bekeays he never 
gives us nothing that 's low. 

3 FEL. Oh, nothing that's low, I cannot bear it. 

4 FEL. The genteel thing is the genteel thing any 
time. If so be that a gentleman bees in a concatena- 
tion accordingly. 

3 FEL. I like the maxum of it, Master Muggins. 
What though I am obligated to dance a bear ? A 
man may be a gentleman for all that. May this be 
my poison, if my bear ever dances but to the very 
genteelest of tunes ; ' Water parted,' or ' The minuet 
in Ariadne.' 

2 FEL. What a pity it is the 'squire is not come to his 
own I It would be well for all the publicans within 
ten miles round of him. 

37 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT i. 

TONY. Ecod, and so it would, Master Slang. I 'd 
then show what it was to keep choice of company. 

2 FEL. Oh, he takes after his own father for that. To 
be sure, old 'squire Lumpkin was the finest gentle- 
man I ever set my eyes on. For winding the 
straight horn, or beating a thicket for a hare, he 
never had his fellow. It was a saying in the place, 
that he kept the best horses and dogs in the whole 
county. 

TONY. Ecod, and when I 'm of age I '11 be my father's 
son, I promise you ! I have been thinking of Bet 
Bouncer, and the miller's grey mare to begin with. 
But come, my boys, drink about and be merry, for 
you pay no reckoning. Well, Stingo, what's the 
matter ? 

Enter LANDLORD. 

LAND. There be two gentlemen in a post-chaise at the 
door. They have lost their way upo' the forest ; and 
they are talking something about Mr. Hardcastle. 

TONY. As sure as can be, one of them must be the 
gentleman that's coming down to court my sister. 
Do they seem to be Londoners ? 

LAND. I believe they may. They look woundily like 
Frenchmen. 

TONY. Then desire them to step this way, and I '11 
set them right in a twinkling. {Exit LANDLORD.] 
Gentlemen, as they mayn't be good enough company 
for you, step down for a moment, and I '11 be with 
you in the squeezing of a lemon. \Exeunt mob. 

38 



sc. ii.] She Stoops to Conquer 

TONY, solus. 

TONY. Father-in-law has been calling me whelp, and 
hound, this half-year. Now, if I pleased, I could be 
so revenged upon the old grumbletonian. But then 
I 'm afraid afraid of what ? I shall soon be worth 
fifteen hundred a year, and let him frighten me out 
of that if he can. 

Enter LANDLORD conducting MARLOW 
and HASTINGS. 

MARL. What a tedious uncomfortable day have we 
had of it! We were told it was but forty miles 
across the country, and we have come above three- 
score. 

HAST. And all, Marlow, from that unaccountable 
reserve of yours, that would not let us inquire more 
frequently on the way. 

MARL. I own, Hastings, I am unwilling to lay myself 
under an obligation to every one I meet : and often 
stand the chance of an unmannerly answer. 

HAST. At present, however, we are not likely to 
receive any answer. 

TONY. No offence, gentlemen ; but I 'm told you 
have been inquiring for one Mr. Hardcastle, in 
these parts. Do you know what part of the country 
you are in ? 

HAST. Not in the least, sir ; but should thank you for 
information. 

TONY. Nor the way you came ? 

39 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT i. 

HAST. No, sir ; but if you can inform us 

TONY. Why, gentlemen, if you know neither the road 

you are going, nor where you are, nor the road you 

came, the first thing I have to inform you, is, that 

you have lost your way. 
MARL. We wanted no ghost to tell us that. 
TONY. Pray, gentlemen, may I be so bold as to ask the 

place from whence you came ? 
MARL. That 's not necessary towards directing us where 

we are to go. 
TONY. No offence ; but question for question is all 

fair, you know. Pray, gentlemen, is not this same 

Hardcastle a cross-grained, old-fashioned, whimsical 

fellow with an ugly face; a daughter, and a pretty 

son? 
HAST. We have not seen the gentleman ; but he has 

the family you mention. 
TONY. The daughter, a tall, trapesing, trolloping, 

talkative May-pole. The son, a pretty, well-bred, 

agreeable youth, that everybody is fond of. 
MARL. Our information differs in this. The daughter 

is said to be well-bred and beautiful ; the son an 

awkward booby, reared up, and spoiled at his 

mother's apron-string. 
TONY. He-he-hem 1 Then, gentlemen, all I have to 

tell you is, that you won't reach Mr. Hardcastle's 

house this night, I believe. 
HAST. Unfortunate! 
TONY. It 's a long, dark, boggy, dirty, dangerous way. 

Stingo, tell the gentlemen the way to Mr. Hard- 
40 




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c jar 



one 



castle's [winking upon the landlord} ; Mr. Hard- 
castle's of Quagmire Marsh ; you understand me. 
LAND. Master Hardcastle's? Lack-a-daisy, my masters, 
you 're come a deadly deal wrong ! When you came 
F 41 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT i. 

to the bottom of the hill, you should have crossed 
down Squash Lane. 

MARL. Cross down Squash Lane ? 

LAND. Then you were to keep straight forward, till 
you came to four roads. 

MARL. Come to where four roads meet ! 

TONY. Ay ; but you must be sure to take only one 
of them. 

MARL. Oh, sir, you 're facetious. 

TONY. Then keeping to the right, you are to go side- 
ways till you come upon Crack-skull Common : there 
you must look sharp for the track of the wheel, and 
go forward, till you come to farmer Murrain's barn. 
Coming to the farmer's barn, you are to turn to the 
right, and then to the left, and then to the right-about 
again, till you find out the old mill 

MARL. Zounds, man ! we could as soon find out the 
longitude ! 

HAST. What 's to be done, Marlow ? 

MARL. This house promises but a poor reception ; 
though perhaps the landlord can accommodate us. 

LAND. Alack ! master, we have but one spare bed in 
the whole house. 

TONY. And, to my knowledge, that's taken up by three 
lodgers already. \After a pause, in which the rest 
seem disconcerted^ I have hit it. Don't you think, 
Stingo, our landlady would accommodate the gentle- 
men by the fire-side, with three chairs and a bolster? 

HAST. I hate sleeping by the fire-side. 

MARL. And I detest your three chairs and a bolster. 
42 



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TONY. You do, do you ? Then let me see what if you 
go on a mile further, to the Buck's Head ; the old 
Buck's Head on the hill, one of the best inns in the 
whole county ? 

HAST. Oh, ho ! so we have escaped an adventure for 
this night, however. 

LAND. \Apart to TONY.] Sure, you ben't sending them 
to your father's as an inn, be you ? 

43 




J~ 



TONY. Mum, you fool you ! Let /^w find that out. 
[To them^\ You have only to keep on straight 
forward, till you come to a large old house by the 
road-side. You '11 see a pair of large horns over the 
door. That's the sign. Drive up the yard, and 
call stoutly about you. 

HAST. Sir, we are obliged to you. The servants can't 
miss the way. 

TONY. No, no. But I tell you, though, the landlord 

44 



sc. IL] She Stoops to Conquer 

is rich and going to leave off business ; so he wants 
to be thought a gentleman, saving your presence, 
he ! he ! he ! He '11 be for giving you his company, 
and ecod, if you mind him, he '11 persuade you that 
his mother was an alderman, and his aunt a justice 
of peace. 

LAND. A troublesome old blade, to be sure ; but a keeps 
as good wines and beds as any in the whole country. 

MARL. Well, if he supplies us with these, we shall 
want no further connection. We are to turn to the 
right, did you say? 

TONY. No, no ; straight forward. I '11 just step myself, 
and show you a piece of the way. [To the LANDLORD.] 
Mum. 

LAND. Ah, you are a sweet, pleasant mischievous 
humbug. , \Exeunt. 



\ 



r 



SCENE I 

An old-fashioned house. 

Enter HARDCASTLE, followed by three or four 
awkward Servants. 

HARD. Well, I hope you 're perfect in the table exercise 
I have been teaching you these three days. You 
all know your posts and your places ; and can show 
that you have been used to company, without ever 
stirring from home. 

OMNES. Ay, ay. 

HARD. When company comes, you are not to pop out 
and stare, and then run in again, like frighted rabbits 
in a warren. 

OMNES. No, no. 

HARD. You, Diggory, whom I have taken from the 
barn, are to make a show at the side-table : and you, 
Roger, whom I have advanced from the plough, are 
to place yourself behind my chair. But you 're not 
to stand so, with your hands in your pockets. Take 
your hands from your pockets, Roger ; and from 
your head, you blockhead you. See how Diggory 
carries his hands. They 're a little too stiff, indeed, 
but that 's no great matter. 

G 49 




Jhen, ecod, your worship musi not tell the story 
of Uld Arouse in the gun-room. 

ACT 2 SCENE 1. 




sc i-] She Stoops to Conquer 

DIGG. Ay ; mind how I hold them. I learned to hold 
my hands this way, when I was upon drill for the 
militia. And so being upon drill 

HARD. You must not be so talkative, Diggory. You 
must be all attention to the guests. You must hear 
us talk, and not think of talking ; you must see us 
drink, and not think of drinking ; you must see us 
eat, and not think of eating. 

DIGG. By the laws, your worship, that's parfectly 
unpossible. Whenever Diggory sees yeating going 
forward, ecod, he's always wishing for a mouthful 
himself. 

HARD. Blockhead ! is not a belly-full in the kitchen as 
good as a belly-full in the parlour? Stay your 
stomach with that reflection. 

DIGG. Ecod, I thank your worship, I '11 make a shift 
to stay my stomach with a slice of cold beef in the 
pantry. 

HARD. Diggory, you are too talkative. Then if I 
happen to say a good thing, or tell a good story at 
table, you must not all burst out a-laughing, as if 
you made part of the company. 

DIGG. Then, ecod, your worship must not tell the story 
of Old Grouse in the gun-room : I can't help laugh- 
ing at that he ! he ! he ! for the soul of me. We 
have laughed at that these twenty years ha ! ha ! ha ! 

HARD. Ha ! ha ! ha ! The story is a good one. 
Well, honest Diggory, you may laugh at that 
but still remember to be attentive. Suppose one 
of the company should call for a glass of wine, how 

53 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT n. 

will you behave? A glass of wine, sir, if you 

please. [To DIGGORY.] Eh, why don't you move? 
DIGG. Ecod, your worship, I never have courage till I 

see the eatables and drinkables brought upon the 

table, and then I 'm as bauld as a lion. 
HARD. What, will nobody move ? 

1 SERV. I 'm not to leave this pleace. 

2 SERV. I 'm sure it 's no pleace of mine. 

3 SERV. Nor mine, for sartain. 

DIGG. Wauns, and I 'm sure it canna be mine. 

HARD. You numskulls ! *and so while, like your betters, 
you are quarrelling for places, the guests must be 
starved. vv Oh, you dunces ! I find I must begin all 
over again. But don't I hear a coach drive into the 
yard ? To your posts, you blockheads ! I '11 go in 
the meantime, and give my old friend's son a hearty 
reception at the gate. {Exit HARDCASTLE. 

DIGG. By the elevens, my pleace is gone quite out of 
my head. 

ROGER. I know that my pleace is to be everywhere. 

1 SERV. Where is mine? 

2 SERV. My pleace is to be nowhere at all ; and so I 'ze 
go about my business. \Exeitnt Servants, running 
about as if frightened, different ways.} 

Enter Servant with candles, showing in MARLOW 
and HASTINGS. 

SERV. Welcome, gentlemen, very welcome. This 
way. 

54 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

HAST. After the disappointments of the day, welcome 
once more, Charles, to the comforts of a clean room, 
and a good fire. Upon my word, a very well-looking 
house ; antique, but creditable. 

MARL. The usual fate of a large mansion. Having 
first ruined the master by good housekeeping, it at 
last comes to levy contributions as an inn. 

HAST. As you say, we passengers are to be taxed 
to pay all these fineries. I have often seen a good 
sideboard, or a marble chimney-piece, though not 
actually put in the bill, inflame a reckoning con- 
foundedly. 

MARL. Travellers, George, must pay in all places. 
The only difference is, that in good inns you pay 
dearly for luxuries ; in bad inns you are fleeced and 
starved. 

HAST. You have lived very much among them. In 
truth, I have been often surprised, that you, who 
have seen so much of the world, with your natural 
good sense, and your many opportunities, could 
never yet acquire a requisj^shaj^^f^as^urance. 

MARL. The Englishman's malady. But tell me, 
George, where could I have learned that assurance 
you jalk_of ? My life has been chiefly spent in a 
college^^cr an inn ; in seclusioi^roin__that lovely: 
part of the creation that chiefly teach _men cojv- 
fidence. I don't know that I was ever familiarly 
acquainted with a single modest woman except my 
mother. 
HAST. In the company of women of reputation, I 

55 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT n. 

never saw such an idiot, such a trembler : you look, 
for all the world, as if you wanted an opportunity of 
stealing out of the room. 

MARL. Why, man, that 's because I do want to steal 
out of the room ! I have often formed a resolution 
to break the ice, and rattle away at any rate. But 
I don't know how, a single glance from a pair of 
fine eyes has totally overset my resolution. An 
impudent fellow may counterfeit modesty ; but I '11 
be hanged if a modest man can ever counterfeit 
impudence. 

HAST. If you could but say half the things to 
them that I have heard you lavish upon the barmaid 
of an inn. 

MARL. Why, George, I can't say fine things to them. 
They freeze, they petrify me. They may talk of 
a comet, or a burning mountain, or some such 
bagatelle : 'tut to me, a modest woman, drest out in 
all her finery, is the most tremendous object of the 
whole creation. l * 

HAST. Ha ! ha ! ha ! At this rate, man, how can you 
ever expect to marry ? 

MARL. Never, unless, as among kings and princes, 
my bride were to be courted by proxy. If, indeed, 
like an Eastern bridegroom, one were to be intro- 
duced to a wife he never saw before, it might be 
endured. But to go through all the terrors of a 
formal courtship, together with the episode of aunts, 
grandmothers, and cousins, and at last to blurt out 
the broad-star question of Madam, will you marry 

56 



sc i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

me? No, no; that's a strain much above me, I 
assure you. 

HAST. I pity you. But how do you intend behaving 
to the lady you are come down to visit at the request 
of your father ? 

MARL. As I behave to all other ladies : bow very low ; 
answer yes, or no, to all her demands. But for the 
rest, I don't think I shall venture to look in her face, 
till I see my father's again. 

HAST. I am surprised that one who is so warm a 
friend can be so cool a lover. 

MARL. To be explicit, my dear Hastings, my chief 
inducement down was to be instrumental in for- 
warding your happiness, not my own. Miss Neville 
loves you ; the family don't know you ; as my friend 
you are sure of a reception, and let honour do 
the rest. 

HAST. My dear Marlow ! But I '11 suppress the 
emotion. Were I a wretch, meanly seeking to carry 
off a fortune, you should be the last man in the world 
I would apply to for assistance. But Miss Neville's 
person is all I ask ; and that is mine, both from her 
deceased father's consent, and her own inclination. 

MARL. Happy man ! You have talents and art to 
captivate any woman. I am doomed to adore the 
sex, and yet to converse with the only part of it I 
despise. This stammer in my address, and this 
awkward prepossessing visage of mine, can never 
permit me to soar Pshaw ! this fellow here to 
interrupt us. 

H 57 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT n. 

Enter HARDCASTLE. 

HARD. Gentlemen, once more you are heartily wel- 
come. Which is Mr. Marlow? Sir, you 're heartily 
welcome. It 's not my way, you see, to receive my 
friends with my back to the fire. I like to give 
them a hearty reception, in the old style, at my 
gate. I like to see their horses and trunks taken 
care of. 

MARL. \Aside^\ He has got our names from the 
servants already. [To him.] We approve your 
caution and hospitality, sir. [70 HASTINGS.] I have 
been thinking, George, of changing our travelling 
dresses in the morning. I am grown confoundedly 
ashamed of mine. 

HARD. I beg, Mr. Marlow, you '11 use no ceremony in 
this house. 

HAST. I fancy, Charles, you 're right : the first blow 
is half the battle. I intend opening the campaign 
with the white and gold. 

HARD. Mr. Marlow Mr. Hastings gentlemen pray 
be under no restraint in this house. This is Liberty 
Hall, gentlemen. You may do just as you please 
here. 

MARL. Yet, George, if we open the campaign too 
fiercely at first, we may want ammunition before it is 
over. I think to reserve the embroidery to secure 
a retreat. 

HARD. Your talking of a retreat, Mr. Marlow, puts 
me in mind of the Duke of Marlborough, when he 

58 



sc - i-] She Stoops to Conquer 

went to besiege Denain. He first summoned the 
garrison 

MARL. Don't you think the venire d'or waistcoat will 
do with the plain brown ? 

HARD. He first summoned the garrison, which might 
consist of about five thousand men 

HAST. I think not : brown and yellow mix but very 
poorly. 

HARD. I say, gentlemen, as I was telling you, he 
summoned the garrison, which might consist of 
about five thousand men 

MARL. The girls like finery. 

HARD. Which might consist of about five thousand 
men, well appointed with stores, ammunition, and 
other implements of war. Now, says the Duke of 
Marlborough to George Brooks, that stood next to 
him you must have heard of George Brooks ' I '11 
pawn my dukedom,' says he, ' but I '11 take that 
garrison, without spilling a drop of blood.' So 

MARL. What, my good friend, if you gave us a glass 
of punch in the meantime? It would help us to 
carry on the siege with vigour. 

HARD. Punch, sir! [si side.} This is the most un- 
accountable kind of modesty I ever met with. 

MARL. Yes, sir, punch. A glass of warm punch, after 
our journey, will be comfortable. This is Liberty 
Hall, you know. 

HARD. Here 's a cup, sir. 

MARL. [^4 side] So this fellow, in his Liberty Hall, 
will only let us have just what he pleases. 

59 




J'lulf the differences of the parish, are adjusted 
in this oery parlour. 




ACT 2. SCENE 1 



sc. L] She Stilus ft Conquer 

HARD. [Taking the cup] I hope you'll find it to your 
mind. I have prepared it with my own hands, and 
I believe you'll own the ingredients are tolerable. 
Will you be so good as to pledge me, sir? Here, 
Mr. Marlow, here is to our better acquaintance. 
[Drinks.] 

MARL. [Aside] A very impudent fellow this ! But he 's 
a character, and I '11 humour him a little. [To him] 
Sir, my service to you. [Drinks. ~\ 

HAST. [Aside^] I see this fellow wants to give us his 
company, and forgets that he 's an innkeeper, before 
he has learned to be a gentleman. 

MARL. From the excellence of your cup, my old friend, 
I suppose you have a good deal of business in this 
part of the country. Warm work, now and then, at 
elections, I suppose. 

HARD. No, sir, I have long given that work over. 

\\Since our betters have hit upon the expedient of 
electing each other, there 's no business for us that 
sell ale^ 

HAST. So, then, you have no turn for politics, I find. 

HARD. Not in the least. There was a time, indeed, 
I fretted myself about the mistakes of Government, 
like other people : but, finding myself every day grow 
more angry, and the Government growing no better, 
I left it to mend itself. Since that, I no more 
trouble my head about Hyder Ally, or Ally Cawn, 
than about Ally Croker. Sir, my service to you. 

HAST. So that with eating above stairs, and drinking 
below ; with receiving your friends within, and 

63 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT n. 

amusing them without, you lead a good, pleasant, 

bustling life of it. 
HARD. I do stir about a great deal, that's certain. 

Half the differences of the parish are adjusted in this 

very parlour. 
MARL. [After drinking.] And you have an argument 

in your cup, old gentleman, better than any in 

Westminster Hall. 
HARD. Ay, young gentleman, that, and a little 

philosophy. 
MARL. [Aside.] Well, this is the first time I ever 

heard of an innkeeper's philosophy. 
HAST. So, then, like an experienced general, you attack 

them on every quarter. If you find their reason 

manageable, you attack it with your philosophy ; if 

you find they have no reason, you attack them with 

this. Here 's your health, my philosopher. 

[Drinks] 
HARD. Good, very good, thank you ; ha 1 ha ! Your 

generalship puts me in mind of Prince Eugene, 

when he fought the Turks at the battle of Belgrade. 

You shall hear. 
MARL. Instead of the battle of Belgrade, I think it's 

almost time to talk about supper. What has your 

philosophy got in the house for supper? 
HARD. For supper, sir ! [Aside.] Was ever such a 

request to a man in his own house ? 
MARL. Yes, sir ; supper, sir : I begin to feel an 

appetite. I shall make sad work to-night in the 

larder, I promise you. 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

HARD. \Aside^\ Such a brazen dog sure never my 
eyes beheld. [To him^\ Why, really, sir, as for 
supper, I can't well tell. My Dorothy and the cook- 
maid settle these things between them. I leave 
these kind of things entirely to them. 

MARL. You do, do you ? 

HARD. Entirely. By the bye, I believe they are in 
actual consultation, upon what's for supper, this 
moment in the kitchen. 

MARL. Then I beg they'll admit me as one of their 
privy council. It's a way I have got. When I 
travel, I always choose to regulate my own supper. 
Let the cook be called. No offence, I hope, sir. 

HARD. Oh no, sir, none in the least ; yet I don't 
know how, our Bridget, the cook-maid, is not 
very communicative upon these occasions. Should 
we send for her, she might scold us all out of the 
house. 

HAST. Let 's see the list of the larder, then. I ask it 
as a favour. I always march my appetite to my bill 
of fare. 

MARL. [To HARDCASTLE, who looks at them with 
surprisel\ Sir, he's very right, and it's my way 
too. 

HARD. Sir, you have a right to command here. Here, 
Roger, bring us the bill of fare for to-night's supper. 
I believe it's drawn out. Your manner, Mr. 
Hastings, puts me in mind of my uncle, Colonel 
Wallop. It was a saying of his, that no man was 
sure of his supper till he had eaten it. 




z/tem, a pork pie, a boiled rabbit and sausages, 
and a disk of ti/f-taff-taffety cream! 




sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

HAST. \Aside^\ All upon the high ropes ! His uncle 
a colonel ! We shall soon hear of his mother 
being a justice of the peace. But let's hear the bill 
of fare. 

MARL. [Perusing.] What 's here ? For the first 
course ; for the second course ; for the dessert. Sir, 
do you think we have brought down the whole 
Joiners' company, or the corporation of Bedford, to 
eat up such a supper? Two or three little things, 
clean and comfortable, will do. 

HAST. But let's hear it. 

MARL. [Reading.] For the first course at the top, a pig 
and prune sauce. 

HAST. I hate your pig, I say. 

MARL. And I hate your prune sauce, say I. 

HARD. And yet, gentlemen, to men that are hungry, 
pig, with prune sauce, is very good eating. 

MARL. At the bottom, a calf's tongue and brains. 

HAST. Let your brains be knocked out, my good sir ; 
I don't like them. 

MARL. Or you may clap them on a plate by them- 
selves. I do. 

HARD. \Aside^\ Their impudence confounds me. [To 
them.] Gentlemen, you are my guests, make what 
alterations you please. Is there anything else you 
wish to retrench or alter, gentlemen ? 

MARL. Item, a pork pie, a boiled rabbit and sausages, 
a florentine, a shaking pudding, and a dish of tiff- 
taff-taffety cream ! 

HAST. Confound your made dishes I I shall be as 

69 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT n. 

much at a loss in this house as at a green and yellow 

dinner at the French ambassador's table. I 'm for 

plain eating. 
HARD. I 'm sorry, gentlemen, that I have nothing you 

like ; but if there be anything you have a particular 

fancy to 

MARL. Why, sir, your bill of fare is so exquisite, that 

any one part of it is full as good as another. Send 

us what you please. So much for supper : and now 

to see that our beds are aired and properly taken 

care of. 
HARD. I entreat you'll leave all that to me. You 

shall not stir a step. 
MARL. Leave that to you ? I protest, sir, you must 

excuse me ; I always look to these things myself. 
HARD. I must insist, sir, you '11 make yourself easy on 

that head. 
MARL. You see I 'm resolved on it. [Aside.] A very 

troublesome fellow this, as ever I met with. 
HARD. Well, sir, I 'm resolved at least to attend 

you. \AsideI\ This may be modern modesty, but 

I never saw anything look so like old-fashioned 

impudence. \Exeunt MARL, and HARD. 

HASTINGS, solus. 

HAST. So I find, this fellow's civilities begin to grow 
troublesome. But who can be angry at these 
assiduities, which are meant to please him ? Ha ! 
what do I see ? Miss Neville, by all that 's happy ! 

70 



sc - 1-] She Stoops to Conquer 

Enter Miss NEVILLE. 

Miss NEV. My dear Hastings 1 To what unexpected 
good fortune, to what accident, am I to ascribe this 
happy meeting ? 

HAST. Rather, let me ask the same question, as I 
could never have hoped to meet my dear Constance 
at an inn. 

Miss NEV. An inn ! surely you mistake ! my aunt, my 
guardian, lives here. What could induce you to 
think this house an inn? 

HAST. My friend, Mr. Marlow, with whom I came 
down, and I, have been sent here as to an inn, I 
assure you. A young fellow, whom we accidentally 
met at a house hard by, directed us hither. 

Miss NEV. Certainly it must be one of my hopeful 
cousin's tricks, of whom you have heard me talk so 
often, ha ! ha ! ha ! ha ! 

HAST. He whom your aunt intends for you ? He of 
whom I have such just apprehensions ? 

Miss NEV. You have nothing to fear from him, I 
assure you. You 'd adore him, if you knew how 
heartily he despises me. My aunt knows it too, and 
has undertaken to court me for him ; and actually 
begins to think she has made a conquest. 

HAST. Thou dear dissembler! You must know, my 
Constance, I have just seized this happy opportunity 
of my friend's visit here, to get admittance into the 
family. The horses that carried us down are now 
fatigued with their journey ; but they '11 soon be 




C 



3 



TO 



P>r5> 

-A^ 

fitofi 




ss yieoille, 6y all that' s happy! 

ACT 2. SCENE I 




sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

refreshed ; and then, if my dearest girl will trust in 
her faithful Hastings, we shall soon be landed in 
France; where, even among slaves, the laws of 
marriage are respected. 

Miss NEV. I have often told you, that though ready 
to obey you, I yet should leave my little fortune 
behind with reluctance. The greatest part of it was 
left me by my uncle, the India director, and chiefly 
consists in jewels. I have been for some time 
persuading my aunt to let me wear them. I fancy I 
am very near succeeding. The instant they are put 
into my possession, you shall find me ready to make 
them and myself yours. 

HAST. Perish the baubles! Your person is all I 
desire. In the meantime, my friend Marlow must 
not be let into his mistake ; I know the strange 
reserve of his temper is such, that if abruptly 
informed of it, he would instantly quit the house, 
before our plan was ripe for execution. 

Miss NEV. But how shall we keep him in the decep- 
tion? Miss Hardcastle is just returned from 
walking ; what if we still continue to deceive him ? 
This, this way [They confer. 

Enter MARLOW. 

MARL. The assiduities of these good people tease me 
beyond bearing. My host seems to think it ill 
manners to leave me alone, and so he claps not only 
himself, but his old-fashioned wife on my back. 

75 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT n. 

They talk of coming to sup with us too ; and then, I 
suppose, we are to run the gauntlet through all the 
rest of the family. What have we got here ? 

HAST. My dear Charles ! Let me congratulate you ! 
The most fortunate accident I Who do you think is 
just alighted ? 

MARL. Cannot guess. 

HAST. Our mistresses, boy, Miss Hardcastle and Miss 
Neville. Give me leave to introduce Miss Con- 
stance Neville to your acquaintance. Happening 
to dine in the neighbourhood, they called, on their 
return, to take fresh horses here. Miss Hardcastle 
has just stepped into the next room, and will be 
back in an instant. Wasn't it lucky, eh ? 

MARL. \A 'side.] I have just been mortified enough, of 
all conscience, and here comes something to com- 
plete my embarrassment. 

HAST. Well, but wasn't it the most fortunate thing in 
the world ? 

MARL. Oh ! yes. Very fortunate a most joyful 
encounter. But our dresses, George, you know, are 
in disorder. What if we should postpone the 
happiness till to-morrow? To-morrow, at her own 
house ; it will be every bit as convenient, and rather 
more respectful. To-morrow let it be. 

[Offering to go. 

Miss NEV. By no means, sir. Your ceremony will dis- 
please her. The disorder of your dress will show the 
ardour of your impatience ; besides, she knows you 
are in the house, and will permit you to see her. 



sc - 1-] She Stoops to Conquer 

MARL. Oh! how shall I support it? Hem! hem! 

Hastings, you must not go. You are to assist me, 

you know. I shall be confoundedly ridiculous. Yet 

hang it ! I '11 take courage. Hem ! 
HAST. Pshaw, man ! it 's but the first plunge, and all 's 

over. She 's but a woman, you know. 
MARL. And of all women, she that I dread most to 

encounter. 



Enter Miss HARDCASTLE as returning from 
walking, in a bonnet, etc. 

HAST. {Introducing him.] Miss Hardcastle Mr. 
Marlow. I 'm proud of bringing two persons of 
such merit together, that only want to know, to 
esteem each other. 

Miss HARD. [Aside.] Now, for meeting my modest 
gentleman with a demure face, and quite in his own 
manner. \After a pause, in which he appears 'very 
uneasy and disconcerted] I 'm glad of your safe 
arrival, sir. I'm told you had some accidents by 
the way. 

MARL. Only a few, madam. Yes, we had some. Yes, 
madam, a good many accidents ; but should be sorry 
madam or rather glad of any accidents that are 
so agreeably concluded. Hem ! 

HAST. [To him] You never spoke better in your 
whole life. Keep it up, and I'll ensure you the 
victory. 

Miss HARD. I'm afraid you flatter, sir. You, that 

77 




(I 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

have seen so much of the finest company, can 
find little entertainment in an obscure corner of the 
country. 

MARL. [Gathering courage.] I have lived, indeed, in 
the world, madam ; but I have kept very little 
company. I have been but an observer upon life, 
madam, while others were enjoying it. 

Miss NEV. But that, I am told, is the way to enjoy 
it at last. 

HAST. [To him.] Cicero never spoke better. Once 
more, and you are confirmed in assurance for ever. 

MARL. [To him.] Hem! Stand by me, then; and 
when I 'm down, throw in a word or two, to set me 
up again. 

Miss HARD. An observer, like you, upon life, were, I 
fear, disagreeably employed, since you must have 
had much more to censure than to approve. 

MARL. Pardon me, madam. I was always willing to 
be amused. The folly of most people is rather an 
object of mirth than uneasiness. 

HAST. [To him] Bravo, bravo ! Never spoke so well 
in your whole life. Well! [To Miss HARD.] 
Miss Hardcastle, I see that you and Mr. Marlow are 
going to be very good company. I believe our 
being here will but embarrass the interview. 

MARL. Not in the least, Mr. Hastings. We like your 
company of all things. [To him] Zounds ! George, 
sure you won't go how can you leave us ? 

HAST. Our presence will but spoil conversation, so 
we'll retire to the next room. [To him] You don't 
L 81 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT n. 

consider, man, that we are to manage a little tte-a- 

tete of our own. [Exeunt. 

Miss HARD. {.After a pause.] But you have not 

been wholly an observer, I presume, sir : the ladies, 

I should hope, have employed some part of your 

addresses. 
MARL. {Relapsing into timidity '.] Pardon me, madam, 

I I I as yet have studied only to deserve 

them. 
Miss HARD. And that, some say, is the very worst 

way to obtain them. 
MARL. Perhaps so, madam. But I love to converse 

only with the more grave and sensible part of the 

sex. But I 'm afraid I grow tiresome. 
Miss HARD. Not at all, sir ; there is nothing I like so 

much as grave conversation myself. I could hear it 

for ever. Indeed, I have often been surprised how 

a man of sentiment could ever admire those light, 

airy pleasures, where nothing reaches the heart. 
MARL. It 's a disease of the mind, madam. In the 

variety of tastes there must be some, who, wanting a 

relish for um a um. 
Miss HARD. I understand you, sir. There must be 

some, who, wanting a relish for refined pleasures, 

pretend to despise what they are incapable of tasting. 
MARL. My meaning, madam, but infinitely better 

expressed. And I can't help observing a 

Miss HARD. {Aside^\ Who could ever suppose this 

fellow impudent upon some occasions? {To him.~\ 

You were going to observe, sir 

82 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

MARL. I was observing, madam I protest, madam, I 

forget what I was going to observe. 
Miss HARD. {Aside^ I vow, and so do I. \To him.'] 

You were observing, sir, that in this age of hypocrisy 

something about hypocrisy, sir. 
MARL. Yes, madam ; in this age of hypocrisy there 

are few who, upon strict inquiry, do not a 

a a 

Miss HARD. I understand you perfectly, sir. 

MARL. \Aside^\ Indeed ! and that 's more than I do 

myself. 
Miss HARD.^YOU mean that, in this hypocritical age, 

there are few that do not condemn in public what 

they practise in private, and think they pay every 

debt to virtue when they praise it. t \ 
MARL. True, madam ; those who have most virtue _in^ 

their mouths have least of it hPtEeir' "bosoms, But 

I 'm sure I tire you, madam. 
Miss HARD. Not in the least, sir; there's something 

so agreeable, and spirited, in your manner ; such life 

and force pray, sir, go on. 
MARL. Yes, madam ; I was saying that there are 

some occasions when a total want of courage, 

madam, destroys all the and puts us upon a 

a^ 
a 

Miss HARD. I agree with you entirely ; a want of 
courage upon some occasions, assumes the appear- 
ance of ignorance, and betrays us when we most 
want to excel. I beg you '11 proceed. 

MARL. Yes, madam ; morally speaking, madam But 

83 




LUhat do you follow me for, Cousin Con ? 

ACT 2. SCENE f. 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

I see Miss Neville expecting us in the next room. 

I would not intrude for the world. 
Miss HARD. I protest, sir, I never was more agreeably 

entertained in all my life. Pray go on. 
MARL. Yes, madam ; I was But she beckons us to 

join her. Madam, shall I do myself the honour to 

attend you ? 

Miss HARD. Well, then, I '11 follow. 
MARL. \_Aside^\ This pretty smooth dialogue has done 

for me. \_Exit. 

Miss HARDCASTLE, sola. 

Miss HARD. Ha! ha! ha! Was there ever such a 
sober, sentimental interview ? I'm certain he scarce 
looked in my face the whole time. Yet the fellow, 
but for his unaccountable bashfulness, is pretty well 
too. He has good sense ; but then, so buried in his 
fears, that it fatigues one more than ignorance. If 
I could teach him a little confidence, it would be 
doing somebody, that I know of, a piece of service. 
But who is that somebody ? that is a question I can 
scarce answer. \Exit. 

Enter TONY and Miss NEVILLE, followed by 
MRS. HARDCASTLE and HASTINGS. 

TONY. What do you follow me for, Cousin Con? I 
wonder you 're not ashamed to be so very engaging. 

Miss NEV. I hope, cousin, one may speak to one's 
own relations, and not be to blame ? 

8? 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT n. 

TONY. Ay, but I know what sort of a relation you 
want to make me, though ; but it won't do. I tell 
you, Cousin Con, it won't do, so I beg you '11 keep 
your distance ; I want no nearer relationship. 

\Shefollows, coquetting him to the back-scene. 

MRS. HARD. Well ! I vow, Mr. Hastings, you are very 
entertaining. There 's nothing in the world I love 
to talk of so much as London, and the fashions, 
though I was never there myself. 

HAST. Never there ! You amaze me ! From your 
air and manner, I concluded you had been bred all 
your life either at Ranelagh, St. James's, or Tower 
Wharf. 

MRS. HARD. Oh ! sir, you 're only pleased to say so. 
We country persons can have no manner at all. I 'm 
in love with the town, and that serves to raise me 
above some of our neighbouring rustics ; but who 
can have a manner, that has never seen the Pantheon, 
the Grotto Gardens, the Borough, and such places 
where the nobility chiefly resort ? All I can do is to 
enjoy London at second-hand. I take care to know 
every tte-a-tte from the Scandalous Magazine, and 
have all the fashions, as they come out, in a letter 
from the two Miss Rickets of Crooked Lane. Pray, 
how do you like this head, Mr. Hastings ? 

HAST. Extremely elegant and dtgagde, upon my word, 
madam. Your friseur is a Frenchman, I suppose ? 

MRS. HARD. I protest I dressed it myself from a print 
in the Ladies' Memorandum Book for the last 
year. 
88 




of ' 



6y my Jcc as 





/Sack fa baak, my pretties, t/iat y/lr. 
may see you. 




sc. L] She Stoops to Conquer 

HAST. Indeed ! such a head in a side-box, at the play- 
house, would draw as many gazers as my Lady 
Mayoress at a city ball. 

MRS. HARD. I vow, since inoculation began there is 
no such thing to be seen as a plain woman ; so one 
must dress a little particular, or one may escape in 
the crowd. 

HAST. But that can never be your case, madam, in 
any dress. [Bowing.} 

MRS. HARD. Yet what signifies my dressing when I 
have such a piece of antiquity by my side as Mr. 
Hardcastle ? All I can say will not argue down a 
single button from his clothes. I have often wanted 
him to throw off his great flaxen wig, and where he 
was bald to plaster it over, like my Lord Pately, 
with powder. 

HAST. You are right, madam ; for as among the ladies, 
there are none ugly, so among the men there are 
none old. 

MRS. HARD. But what do you think his answer was ? 
Why, with his usual Gothic vivacity, he said, I only 
wanted him to throw off his wig, to convert it into a 
tte for my own wearing. 

HAST. Intolerable! At your age you may wear what 
you please, and it must become you. 

MRS. HARD. Pray, Mr. Hastings, what do you take to 
be the most fashionable age about town ? 

HAST. Some time ago, forty was all the mode ; but 
I 'm told the ladies intend to bring up fifty for the 
ensuing winter. 

93 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT n. 

MRS. HARD. Seriously ! then I shall be too young for 

the fashion. 
HAST. No lady begins now to put on jewels till she's 

past forty. For instance, Miss there, in a polite 

circle, would be considered as a child, as a mere 

maker of samplers. 
MRS. HARD. And yet Mrs. Niece thinks herself as 

much a woman, and is as fond of jewels, as the 

oldest of us all. 
HAST. Your niece, is she ? and that young gentleman a 

brother of yours, I should presume ? 
MRS. HARD. My son, sir. They are contracted to 

each other. Observe their little sports. They fall 

in and out ten times a day, as if they were man and 

wife already. [To them.] Well, Tony, child, what 

soft things are you saying to your cousin Constance 

this evening ? 
TONY. I have been saying no soft things ; but that it 's 

very hard to be followed about so. Ecod, I Ve not 

a place in the house now that 's left to myself, but 

the stable. 
MRS. HARD. Never mind him, Con, my dear. He 's 

in another story behind your back. 
Miss NEV. There 's something generous in my cousin's 

manner. He falls out before faces to be forgiven in 

private. 

TONY. That 's a confounded crack. 
MRS. HARD. Ah! he's a sly one. Don't you think 

they're like each other about the mouth, Mr. 

Hastings ? The Blenkinsop mouth to a T. They 're 
94 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

of a size, too. Back to back, my pretties, that Mr. 
Hastings may see you. Come, Tony. 

TONY. You had as good not make me, I tell you. 
[Measuring.} 

Miss NEV. Oh ! he has almost cracked my head. 

MRS. HARD. Oh, the monster! For shame, Tony. 
You a man, and behave so ! 

TONY. If I 'm a man, let me have my fortin. Ecod, 
I '11 not be made a fool of no longer. 

MRS. HARD. Is this, ungrateful boy, all that I 'm to 
get for the pains I have taken in your education ? I 
that have rocked you in your cradle, and fed that 
pretty mouth with a spoon ? Did not I work that 
waistcoat to make you genteel ? Did not I prescribe 
for you every day, and weep while the receipt was 
operating ? 

TONY. Ecod, you had reason to weep, for you have 
been dosing me ever since I was born. I have gone 
through every receipt in the Complete Huswife ten 
times over ; and you have thoughts of coursing me 
through Quincy next spring. But, ecod, I tell you, 
I '11 not be made a fool of no longer. 

MRS. HARD. Wasn't it all for your good, viper? 
Wasn't it all for your good ? 

TONY. I wish you'd let me and my good alone, 
then. Snubbing this way, when I 'm in spirits. If 
I 'm to have any good, let it come of itself ; not to 
keep dinging it, dinging it into one so. 

MRS. HARD. That 's false ; I never see you when you 
are in spirits. No, Tony, you then go to the ale- 

95 




c 




S/ haoe seen her and sister cry ooer a boot? 
for an hour together. 

ACT 2. SCENE i 




sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

house, or kennel. I 'm never to be delighted with 
your agreeable wild notes, unfeeling monster ! 

TONY. Ecod, mamma, your own notes are the wildest 
of the two. 

MRS. HARD. Was ever the like ! But I see he wants 
to break my heart, I see he does. 

HAST. Dear madam, permit me to lecture the young 
gentleman a little. I 'm certain I can persuade him 
to his duty. 

MRS. HARD. Well ! I must retire. Come, Constance, 
my love. You see, Mr. Hastings, the wretched- 
ness of my situation. Was ever poor woman so 
plagued with a dear, sweet, pretty, provoking, 
undutiful boy ? 

\Exeunt MRS. HARDCASTLE and Miss NEVILLE. 

HASTINGS. TONY. 
TONY. [Singing. 1 

There was a young man riding by, 
And fain would have his will. 

Rang do didlo dee. 

Don't mind her. Let her cry. It 's the comfort of her 
heart. I have seen her and sister cry over a book 
for an hour together ; and they said they liked the 
book the better the more it made them cry. 

HAST. Then you 're no friend to the ladies, I find, my 
pretty young gentleman. 

TONY. That 's as I find 'um. 

HAST. Not to her of your mother's choosing, I dare 

99 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT n. 

answer : and yet she appears to me a pretty, well- 
tempered girl. 

TONY. That's because you don't know her as well 
as I. Ecod, I know every inch about her, and 
there's not a more bitter, cantankerous toad in all 
Christendom. 

HAST, [si side.} Pretty encouragement this for a lover ! 

TONY. I have seen her since the height of that. She 
has as many tricks as a hare in a thicket, or a colt 
the first day's breaking. 

HAST. To me she appears sensible and silent. 

TONY. Ay, before company. But when she 's with her 
playmates, she 's as loud as a hog in a gate. 

HAST. But there is a meek modesty about her that 
charms me. 

TONY. Yes ; but curb her never so little, she kicks up, 
and you 're flung in a ditch. 

HAST. Well, but you must allow her a little beauty. 
Yes, you must allow her some beauty. 

TONY. Bandbox! She's all a made-up thing, mun. 
Ah ! could you but see Bet Bouncer, of these parts, 
you might then talk of beauty. Ecod, she has two 
eyes as black as sloes, and cheeks as broad and red 
as a pulpit cushion. She 'd make two of she. 

HAST. Well, what say you to a friend that would take 
this bitter bargain off your hands ? 

TONY. Anon ! 

HAST. Would you thank him that would take Miss 
Neville, and leave you to happiness and your dear 
Betsy ? 
100 




roar 



TONY. Ay ; but where is there such a friend ? for who 

would take her? 
HAST. I am he. If you but assist me, I '11 engage to 

ship her off to France, and you shall never hear 

more of her. 
TONY. Assist you ! Ecod, I will, to the last drop of 

my blood. I '11 clap a pair of horses to your chaise 

101 



/ 

She Stoops to Conquer [ACT n. 

that shall trundle you off in a twinkling ; and may 

be, get you a part of her fortin beside, in jewels, 

that you little dream of. 
HAST. My dear 'squire, this looks like a lad of 

spirit. 
TONY. Come along then, and you shall see more of my 

spirit before you have done with me. [Singing. 

We are the boys 

That fears no noise 

Where the thundering cannons roar. 

\Exeitnt. 




SCENE I 
Enter HARDCASTLE, solus. 

HARD. What could my old friend Sir Charles mean, 
by recommending his son as the modestest young 
man in town? To me he appears the most 
impudent piece of brass that ever spoke with a 
tongue. He has taken possession of the easy-chair 
by the fireside already. He took off his boots in 
the parlour, and desired me to see them taken care 
of. I 'm desirous to know how his impudence 
affects my daughter. She will certainly be shocked 
at it. 

Enter Miss HARDCASTLE, plainly dressed. 

HARD. Well, my Kate, I see you have changed your 

dress, as I bid you ; and yet, I believe, there was no 

great occasion. 
Miss HARD. I find such a pleasure, sir, in obeying 

your commands, that I take care to obey them 

without ever debating their propriety. 
HARD. And yet, Kate, I sometimes give you some 

cause, particularly when I recommended my modest 

gentleman to you as a lover to-day. 

o 105 








Cue//, my 'ZsS.afe, 3? see you haoe changed 

your dress, as S/ <^/ic/ you. 

ACT 3. SCENE i 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

Miss HARD. You taught me to expect something 

extraordinary, and I find the original exceeds the 

description. 
HARD. I was never so surprised in my life ! He has 

quite confounded all my faculties ! 
Miss HARD. I never saw anything like it : and a man 

of the world, too ! 
HARD. Ay, he learned it all abroad. tf What a fool 

was I to think a young man could learn modesty 

by travelling! He might as soon learn wit at a 

masquerade. \\ 

Miss HARD. It seems all natural to him. 
HARD. A good deal assisted by bad company, and a 

French dancing-master. 
Miss HARD. Sure you mistake, papa! A French 

dancing-master could never have taught him that 

timid look that awkward address that bashful 

manner 

HARD. Whose look ? whose manner, child ? 

Miss HARD. Mr. Marlow's : his mauvaise honte, his 

timidity, struck me at the first sight. 
HARD. Then your first sight deceived you ; for I think 

him one of the most brazen first-sights that ever 

astonished my senses. 
Miss HARD. Sure, sir, you rally! I never saw any 

one so modest. 
HARD. And can you be serious? I never saw such 

a bouncing, swaggering puppy since I was born ! 

Bully Dawson was but a fool to him. 
Miss HARD. Surprising ! He met me with a respect- 

109 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT m. 

ful bow, a stammering voice, and a look fixed on the 
ground. 

HARD. He met me with a loud voice, a lordly air, and 
a familiarity that made my blood freeze again. 

Miss HARD. He treated me with diffidence and 
respect ; censured the manners of the age ; admired 
the prudence of girls that never laughed ; tired me 
with apologies for being tiresome ; then left the 
room with a bow, and ' Madam, I would not for the 
world detain you.' 

HARD. He spoke to me as if he knew me all his life 
before ; asked twenty questions, and never waited 
for an answer ; interrupted my best remarks with 
some silly pun ; and when I was in my best story 
of the Duke of Marlborough and Prince Eugene, he 
asked if I had not a good hand at making punch. 
Yes, Kate, he asked your father if he was a maker 
of punch ! 

Miss HARD. One of us must certainly be mistaken. 

HARD. If he be what he has shown himself, I 'm 
determined he shall never have my consent. 

Miss HARD. And if he be the sullen thing I take him, 
he shall never have mine. 

HARD. In one thing then we are agreed to reject him. 

Miss HARD. Yes. But upon conditions. For if you 
should find him less impudent, and I more presum- 
ing ; if you find him more respectful, and I more 
importunate I don't know the fellow is well 
enough for a man. Certainly, we don't meet many 
such at a horse-race in the country, 
no 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

HARD. If we should find him so but that's impos- 
sible. The first appearance has done my business. 
1 'm seldom deceived in that. 

Miss HARD. And yet there may be many good 
qualities under that first appearance. 

HARD. Ay, when a girl finds a fellow's outside to her 
taste, she then sets about guessing the rest of his 
furniture. With her a smooth face stands for 



sense, and^j^ejrteel_figure_for every virtue. 
Miss HARD. I hope, sir, a conversation begun with a 

compliment to my good sense, won't end with a 

sneer at my understanding. 
HARD. Pardon me, Kate. But if young Mr. Brazen 

can find the art of reconciling contradictions, he may 

please us both, perhaps. 
Miss HARD. And as one of us must be mistaken, 

what if we go to make further discoveries ? 
HARD. But depend on 't, I 'm in the right. 
Miss HARD. And depend on 't, I 'm not much in the 

wrong. \Exeunt. 

Enter TONY running in with a casket. 

TONY. Ecod, I have got them ! Here they are. My 
cousin Con's necklaces, bobs, and all. My mother 
shan't cheat the poor souls out of their fortin, neither. 
Oh ! my genus, is that you ? 

Enter HASTINGS. 

HAST. My dear friend, how have you managed with 
your mother? I hope you have amused her with 

in 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT in. 

pretending love for your cousin ; and that you are 
willing to be reconciled at last. Our horses will be 
refreshed in a short time, and we shall soon be ready 
to set off. 

TONY. And here's something to bear your charges by 
the way [giving the caskef] your sweetheart's 
jewels. Keep them ; and hang those, I say, that 
would rob you of one of them. 

HAST. But how have you procured them from your 
mother ? 

TONY. Ask me no questions, and I '11 tell you no fibs. 
I procured them by the rule of thumb. If I had not 
a key to every drawer in my mother's bureau, how 
could I go to the alehouse so often as I do? An 
honest man may rob himself of his own at any 
time. 

HAST. Thousands do it every day. But to be plain 
with you, Miss Neville is endeavouring to procure 
them from her aunt this very instant. If she succeeds, 
it will be the most delicate way at least of obtaining 
them. 

TONY. Well, keep them, till you know how it will be. 
I know how it will be, well enough ; she 'd as soon 
part with the only sound tooth in her head. 

HAST. But I dread the effects of her resentment, when 
she finds she has lost them. 

TONY. Never you mind her resentment, leave me to 

manage that. I don't value her resentment the 

bounce of a cracker. Zounds ! here they are. 

Morrice ! Prance ! [Exit HASTINGS. 

112 




TONY, MRS. HARDCASTLE, Miss NEVILLE. 

MRS. HARD. Indeed, Constance, you amaze me. Such 
a girl as you want jewels ! It will be time enough 
for jewels, my dear, twenty years hence ; when your 
beauty begins to want repairs. / 

Miss NEV. But what will repair _beauty at forty, will 
certainly improve _it_at_twenty, madajp. 

MRS. HARD. Yours, my dear, can admit of none. That 
natural blush is beyond a thousand ornaments, 
p 113 




G 



reva 

kj 

jJ 



6ear witness. 

ACT 3. SCENE I. 




sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

Besides, child, jewels are quite out at present. Don't 
you see half the ladies of our acquaintance, my Lady 
Kill-Daylight, and Mrs. Crump, and the rest of them, 
carry their jewels to town, and bring nothing but 
paste and marcasites back ? 

Miss NEV. But who knows, madam, but somebody 
that shall be nameless would like me best with all 
my little finery about me ? 

MRS. HARD. Consult your glass, my dear, and then 
see if, with such a pair of eyes, you want any better 
sparklers. What do you think, Tony, my dear? 
Does your cousin Con want any jewels, in your eyes, 
to set off her beauty ? 

TONY. That 's as thereafter may be. * 

Miss NEV. My dear aunt, if you knew how it would 
oblige me. 

MRS. HARD. A parcel of old-fashioned rose and table- 
cut things. They would make you look like the court 
of King Solomon at a puppet-show. Besides, I 
believe I can't readily come at them. They may be 
missing, for aught I know to the contrary. 

TONY. {Apart to MRS. HARDCASTLE.] Then why 
don't you tell her so at once, as she 's so longing for 
them? Tell her they're lost. It's the only way 
to quiet her. Say they're lost, and call me to bear 
witness. 

MRS. HARD. [Apart to TONY.] You know, my dear, 
. I 'm only keeping them for you. So, if I say they're 
gone, you'll bear me witness, will you? He! he! 
he! 

117 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT in. 

TONY. Never fear me. Ecod, I'll say I saw them 
taken out with my own eyes. 

Miss NEV. I desire them but for a day, madam. Just 
to be permitted to show them as relics, and then 
they may be locked up again. 

MRS. HARD. To be plain with you, my dear Constance, 
if I could find them, you should have them. They 're 
missing, I assure you. Lost, for aught I know ; but 
we must have patience, wherever they are. 

Miss NEV. I '11 not believe it ; this is but a shallow 
pretence to deny me. I know they 'Ye too valuable 
to be so slightly kept, and as you are to answer for 
the loss 

MRS. HARD. Don't be alarmed, Constance ; if they be 
lost, I must restore an equivalent. But my son 
knows they are missing, and not to be found. 

TONY. That I can bear witness to. They are missing, 
and not to be found ; I '11 take my oath on 't. 

MRS. HARD. You must learn resignation, my dear ; for 
though we lose our fortune, yet we should not lose 
our patience. See me, how calm I am. 

Miss NEV. Ay, people are generally calm at the mis- 
fortunes of others. 

MRS. HARD. Now, I wonder a girl of your good sense 
should waste a thought upon such trumpery. We 
shall soon find them ; and, in the meantime, you 
shall make use of my garnets, till your jewels be 
found. 

Miss NEV. I detest garnets ! 

MRS. HARD. The most becoming things in the world, 
118 



sc. L] She Stoops to Conquer 

to set off a clear complexion. You have often seen 
how well they looked upon me. You shall have 
them. \Exit. 

Miss NEV. I dislike them of all things. [To TONY.] 
You shan't stir. Was ever anything so provoking? 
to mislay my own jewels, and force me to wear her 
trumpery ! 

TONY. Don't be a fool ! If she gives you the garnets, 
take what you can get. The jewels are your own 
already. I have stolen them out of her bureau, 
and she does not know it. Fly to your spark, 
he'll tell you rrore of the matter. Leave me to 
manage her. 

Miss NEV. My dear cousin ! 

TONY. Vanish ! She 's here, and has missed them 
already. [Exit Miss NEVILLE.] Zounds ! how she 
fidgets, and spits about like a Catharine-wheel ! 

Enter MRS. HARDCASTLE. 

MRS. HARD. Confusion ! thieves ! robbers ! We are 
cheated, plundered, broken open, undone ! 

TONY. What's the matter? what's the matter, 
mamma? I hope nothing has happened to any 
of the good family ! 

MRS. HARD. We are robbed ! My bureau has been 
broke open, the jewels taken out, and I 'm undone ! 

TONY. Oh ! is that all ? Ha ! ha ! ha ! By the laws, I 
never saw it better acted in my life. Ecod> I thought 
you was ruined in earnest. Ha ! ha ! ha ! 

119 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT in. 

MRS. HARD. Why, boy, I am ruined in earnest. 

My bureau has been broken open, and all taken 

away. 
TONY. Stick to that; ha! ha! ha! stick to that; I'll 

bear witness, you know ; call me to bear witness. 
MRS. HARD. I tell you, Tony, by all that's precious, 

the jewels are gone, and I shall be ruined for ever. 
TONY. Sure, I know they 're gone, and I am to say so. 
MRS. HARD. My dearest Tony, but hear me. They 're 

gone, I say. 
TONY. By the laws, mamma, you make me for to laugh ; 

ha ! ha ! I know who took them well enough ; ha ! 

ha! ha! 
MRS. HARD. Was there ever such a blockhead, that 

can't tell the difference between jest and earnest? 

I tell you I 'm not in jest, booby ! 
TONY. That 's right, that 's right. You must be in a 

bitter passion, and then nobody will suspect either 

of us. I '11 bear witness that they are gone. 
MRS. HARD. Was there ever such a cross-grained 

brute, that won't hear me! Can you bear witness 

that you're no better than a fool? Was ever poor 

woman so beset with fools on one hand, and thieves 

on the other ? 

TONY. I can bear witness to that. 
MRS. HARD. Bear witness again, you blockhead you, 

and I '11 turn you out of the room directly. My poor 

niece ! what will become of her ? Do you laugh, you 

unfeeling brute, as if you enjoyed my distress ? 
TONY. I can bear witness to that. 
1 20 




a/ 



MRS. HARD. Do you insult me, monster ? I '11 teach 

you to vex your mother, I will. 
TONY. I can bear witness to that. 

[He runs off, she follows him. 

Q 121 



c 



8 







Jell me, Jimple, fioio do you like me/ 
present dress? 




ACT 3. SCENE I 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

Enter Miss HARDCASTLE and Maid. 

Miss HARD. What an unaccountable creature is that 
brother of mine, to send them to the house as an 
inn ; ha ! ha ! I don't wonder at his impudence. 

MAID. But what is more, madam, the young gentleman, 
as you passed by in your present dress, asked me if 
you were the barmaid? He mistook you for the 
barmaid, madam. 

Miss HARD. Did he? Then, as I live, I am resolved 
to keep up the delusion. Tell me, Pimple, how do 
you like my present dress ? Don't you think I look 
something like Cherry in the ' Beaux' Stratagem ' ? 

MAID. It 's the dress, madam, that every lady wears in 
the country, but when she visits or receives com- 
pany. 

Miss HARD. And are you sure he does not remember 
my face or person ? 

MAID. Certain of it. 

Miss HARD. I vow, I thought so ; for though we spoke 
for some time together, yet his fears were such, that 
he never once looked up during the interview. 
Indeed, if he had, my bonnet would have kept him 
from seeing me. 

MAID. But what do you hope from keeping him in his 
mistake ? 

Miss HARD. In the first place, I shall be seen, and that 
is no small advantage to a girl who brings her face 
to market. Then I shall, perhaps, make an acquaint- 
ance, and that's no small victory gained over one 

125 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT in. 

who never addresses any but the wildest of her sex. 
But my chief aim is to take my gentleman off his 
guard, and, like an invisible champion of romance, 
examine the giant's force before I offer to combat. 

MAID. But are you sure you can act your part, and 
disguise your voice, so that he may mistake that, as 
he has already mistaken your person ? 

Miss HARD. Never fear me. I think I have got the 
true bar cant. Did your honour call ? Attend the 
Lion there. Pipes and tobacco for the Angel. The 
Lamb has been outrageous this half-hour. 

MAID. It will do, madam. But he 's here. 

{Exit Maid. 

Enter MARLOW. 

MARL. What a bawling in every part of the house ! I 
have scarce a moment's repose. If I go to the best 
room, there I find my host and his story. If I fly 
to the gallery, there we have my hostess, with her 
curtsey down to the ground. I have at last got a 
moment to myself, and now for recollection. 

\lValks and muses. 

Miss HARD. Did you call, sir ? did your honour 
call? 

MARL. [Musing] As for Miss Hardcastle, she's too 
grave and sentimental for me. 

Miss HARD. Did your honour call ? 
[She still places herself before him, he turning away. 

MARL. No, child. [Musing.] Besides, from the glimpse 
I had of her, I think she squints. 
126 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

Miss HARD. I 'm sure, sir, I heard the bell ring. 
MARL. No, no. \Musing."\ I have pleased my father, 

however, by coming down, and I '11 to-morrow please 

myself by returning. 

[Taking out his tablets, and perusing. 
Miss HARD. Perhaps the other gentleman called, sir. 
MARL. I tell you, no. 
Miss HARD. I should be glad to know, sir. We have 

such a parcel of servants. 
MARL. No, no, I tell you. [Looks full in her face.] 

Yes, child, I think I did call. I wanted I wanted 

I vow, child, you are vastly handsome. 
Miss HARD. Oh ! la, sir, you '11 make one ashamed. 
MARL. Never saw a more sprightly, malicious eye. 

Yes, yes, my dear, I did call. Have you got any of 

your a what d' ye call it, in the house ? 
Miss HARD. No, sir, we have been out of that these 

ten days. 
MARL. One may call in this house, I find, to very 

little purpose. Suppose I should call for a taste, 

just by way of trial, of the nectar of your lips ; 

perhaps I might be disappointed in that, too. 
Miss HARD. Nectar ! nectar ! that 's a liquor there 's 

no call for in these parts. French, I suppose. We 

keep no French wines here, sir. 
MARL. Of true English growth, I assure you. 
Miss HARD. Then it's odd I should not know it. 

We brew all sorts of wines in this house, and I have 

lived here these eighteen years. 

MARL. Eighteen years ? Why, one would think, child, 

127 






8 



*iP 

1(01 



^ 
^ 




cfleoer saw a more sprightly, malicious eye. 




sc i-] She Stoops to Conquer 

you kept the bar before you were born. How old 
are you ? 

Miss HARD. Oh, sir, I must not tell my age ! They 
say women and music shoulo^ never be dated. 

MARL. To guess at this distance, you can't be much 
above forty. [Approaching] Yet nearer, I don't 
think so much. [Approaching] By coming close 
to some women, they look younger still ; but when 

we come very close indeed 

[Attempting to kiss her. 

Miss HARD. Pray, sir, keep your distance. One 
would think you wanted to know one's age as they 
do horses, by mark of mouth. 

MARL. I protest, child, you use me extremely ill. If 
you keep me at this distance, how is it possible you 
and I can be ever acquainted. 

Miss HARD. And who wants to be acquainted with 
you ? I want no such acquaintance, not I. I 'm 
sure you did not treat Miss Hardcastle, that was 
here a while ago, in this obstropalous manner. 
I '11 warrant me, before her you looked dashed, 
and kept bowing to the ground, and talked, for 
all the world, as if you was before a justice of 
peace. 

MARL. [Aside.] Egad ! she has hit it, sure enough. 
[To her] In awe of her, child? Ha! ha! ha! A 
mere awkward, squinting thing ; no, no. I find you 
don't know me. I laughed, and rallied her a little ; 
but I was unwilling to be too severe. No, I could 
not be too severe. 








ifteep up t/ie spirit of the place. 




ACT 3. SCENE l 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

Miss HARD. Oh ! then, sir, you are a favourite, I find, 
among the ladies. 

MARL. Yes, my dear, a great favourite. And yet, 
hang me, I don't see what they find in me to 
follow. At the ladies' club in town, I 'm called their 
agreeable Rattle. Rattle, child, is not my real name, 
but one I 'm known by. My name is Solomons. 
Mr. Solomons, my dear, at your service. 

[Offering to salute her. 

Miss HARD. Hold, sir ; you were introducing me to 
your club, not to yourself. And you 're so great a 
favourite there, you say ? 

MARL. Yes, my dear; there's Mrs. Mantrap, Lady 
Betty Blackleg, the Countess of Sligo, Mrs. Lang- 
horns, old Miss Biddy Buckskin, and your humble 
servant, keep up the spirit of the place. 

Miss HARD. Then it 's a very merry place, I suppose. 

MARL. Yes, as merry as cards, suppers, wine, and old 
women can make us. 

Miss HARD. And their agreeable Rattle ; ha ! ha ! ha ! 

MARL. [Aside.} Indeed! I don't quite like this chit. 
She looks knowing, methinks. [To her.} You 
laugh, child ! 

Miss HARD. I can't but laugh to think what time 
they all have for minding their work or their family. 

MARL. [Aside} All 's well, she don't laugh at me. 
[To her} Do you ever work, child ? 

Miss HARD. Ay, sure. There's not a screen or a 
quilt in the whole house but what can bear witness 
to that. 

135 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT in. 

MARL. Odso ! Then you must show me your em- 
broidery. I embroider, and draw patterns myself a 
little. If you want a judge of your work, you must 
apply to me. [Seising her hand. 

Miss HARD. Ay, but the colours don't look well by 
candle-light. You shall see all in the morning. 

[Struggling. 

MARL. And why not now, my angel? Such beauty 
fires beyond the power of resistance. Pshaw ! the 
father here! My old luck! I never nicked seven, 
that I did not throw ames-ace three times following. 

MARLOW. 



Enter HARDCASTLE, who stands in surprise. 

HARD. So, madam ! So I find this is your modest 
lover ! This is your humble admirer, that kept his 
eyes fixed on the ground, and only adored at humble 
distance. Kate, Kate ! art thou not ashamed to 
deceive your father so ? 

Miss HARD. Never trust me, dear papa, but he 's still 
the modest man I first took him for ; you '11 be 
convinced of it as well as I. 

HARD. By the hand of my body, I believe his 
impudence is infectious ! Didn't I see him seize 
your hand? didn't I see him haul you about like a 
milkmaid ? and now you talk of his respect and his 
modesty, forsooth ! 

Miss HARD. But if I shortly convince you of his 
modesty ; that he has only the faults that will pass 
136 




e77)70 toftx) no? near TTJ.U a-nge ( 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT in. 

off with time, and the virtues that will improve with 

age, I hope you '11 forgive him. 
HARD. The girl would actually make one run mad ; 

I tell you, I '11 not be convinced. I am convinced. 

He has scarcely been three hours in the house, and 

he has already encroached on all my prerogatives 

You may like his impudence, and call it modesty ; 

but my son-in-law, madam, must have very different 

qualifications. 
Miss HARD. Sir, I ask but this night to convince 

you. 
HARD. You shall not have half the time ; for I have 

thoughts of turning him out this very hour. 
Miss HARD. Give me that hour, then, and I hope to 

satisfy you. 
HARD. Well, an hour let it be, then. But I '11 have no 

trifling with your father. All fair and open, do you 

mind me? 
Miss HARD. I hope, sir, you have ever found that I 

considered your commands as my pride ; for your 

kindness is such that my duty as yet has been 

inclination. {Exeunt. 




SCENE I 
Enter HASTINGS and Miss NEVILLE. 

HAST. You surprise me ! Sir Charles Marlovv ex- 
pected here this night ? Where have you had your 
information ? 

Miss NEV. You may depend upon it. I just saw 
his letter to Mr. Hardcastle, in which he tells 
him he intends setting out a few hours after his 
son. 

HAST. Then, my Constance, all must be completed 
before he arrives. He knows me ; and should he 
find me here, would discover my name, and perhaps 
my designs, to the rest of the family. 

Miss NEV. The jewels, I hope, are safe. 

HAST. Yes, yes. I have sent them to Marlow, who 
keeps the keys of our baggage. In the meantime, 
I '11 go to prepare matters for our elopement. I have 
had the squire's promise of a fresh pair of horses : 
and, if I should not see him again, will write him 
further directions. {Exit. 

Miss NEV. Well, success attend you. In the mean- 
time, I '11 go amuse my aunt with the old pretence of 
a violent passion for my cousin. \Exit. 

141 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT iv. 

Enter MARLOW followed by a Servant. 

MARL. I wonder what Hastings could mean by send- 
ing me so valuable a thing as a casket to keep for 
him, when he knows the only place I have is the seat 
of a post-coach at an inn-door? Have you deposited 
the casket with the landlady, as I ordered you? 
Have you put it into her own hands ? 

SERV. Yes, your honour. 

MARL. She said she 'd keep it safe, did she ? 

SERV. Yes, she said she 'd keep it safe enough ; she 
asked me how I came by it, and she said she had a 
great mind to make me give an account of myself. 

[Exit Servant. 

MARL. Ha ! ha ! ha ! They 're safe, however. What 
an unaccountable set of beings have we got amongst I 
This little barmaid, though, runs in my head most 
strangely, and drives out the absurdities of all the 
rest of the family. She 's mine, she must be mine, 
or I 'm greatly mistaken. 

Enter HASTINGS. 

HAST. Bless me! I quite forgot to tell her that I 
intended to prepare at the bottom of the garden. 
Marlow here, and in spirits, too ! 

MARL. Give me joy, George ! Crown me, shadow me 
with laurels ! Well, George, after all, we modest 
fellows don't want for success among the women. 

HAST. Some women, you mean. But what success 
142 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

has your honour's modesty been crowned with now, 
that it grows so insolent upon us ? 

MARL. Didn't you see the tempting, brisk, lovely little 
thing that runs about the house, with a bunch of 
keys to its girdle ? 

HAST. Well, and what then ? 

MARL. She's mine, you rogue you. Such fire, such 
motion, such eyes, such lips but, egad ! she would 
not let me kiss them, though. 

HAST. But are you so sure, so very sure of her ? 

MARL. Why, man, she talked of showing me her work 
above stairs, and I 'm to improve the pattern. 

HAST. You have taken care, I hope, of the casket I 
sent you to lock up? It's in safety? 

MARL. Yes, yes ; it 's safe enough. I have taken care 
of it. But how could you think the seat of a post- 
coach, at an inn-door, a place of safety? Ah! 
numskull ! I have taken better precautions for you 
than you did for yourself. I have 

HAST. What? 

MARL. I have sent it to the landlady to keep for you. 

HAST. To the landlady! 

MARL. The landlady. 

HAST. You did ! 

MARL. I did. She's to be answerable for its forth- 
coming, you know. 

HAST. Yes, she'll bring it forth, with a witness. 

MARL. Wasn't I right ? I believe you '11 allow that I 
acted prudently upon this occasion. 

HAST. {Aside.} He must not see my uneasiness. 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT iv. 

MARL. You seem a little disconcerted, though, me- 
thinks. Sure nothing has happened. 

HAST. No, nothing. Never was in better spirits in 
all my life. And so you left it with the landlady, 
who, no doubt, very readily undertook the charge ? 

MARL. Rather too readily. For she not only kept 
the casket ; but, through her great precaution, was 
going to keep the messenger too. Ha! ha ! ha ! 

HAST. He ! he ! he ! They are safe, however. 

MARL. As a guinea in a miser's purse. 

HAST. {.Aside.} So now all hopes of fortune are at an 
end, and we must set off without it. [ To him.'] Well, 
Charles, I '11 leave you to your meditations on the 
pretty barmaid ; and, he ! he ! he ! may you be as 
successful for yourself as you have been for me ! 

\Exit. 

MARL. Thank ye, George ! 

Enter HARDCASTLE. 

HARD. I no longer know my own house. It 's turned 
all topsy-turvy. His servants have got drunk 
already. I '11 bear it no longer ; and yet, for my 
respect for his father, I '11 be calm. [To him.} Mr. 
Marlow, your servant. I 'm your very humble 
servant. [Bowing low. 

MARL. Sir, your humble servant. [Aside.] What's 
to be the wonder now ? 

HARD. I believe, sir, you must be sensible, sir, that no 
man alive ought to be more welcome than your 
father's son, sir. I hope you think so. 
144 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

MARL. I do, from my soul, sir. I don't want much 
entreaty. I generally make my father's son welcome 
wherever he goes. 

HARD. I believe you do, from my soul, sir. But 
though I say nothing to your own conduct, that of 
your servants is insufferable. Their manner of 
drinking is setting a very bad example in this house, 
I assure you. 

MARL. I protest, my very good sir, that 's no fault of 
mine. If they don't drink as they ought, they are to 
blame. I ordered them not to spare the cellar: I 
did, I assure you. [To the side scene I\ Here, let 
one of my servants come up. [To him.] My 
positive directions were, that as I did not drink 
myself, they should make up for my deficiencies 
below. 

HARD. Then, they had your orders for what they do ! 
I 'm satisfied. 

MARL. They had, I assure you. You shall hear from 
one of themselves. 



Enter Servant, drunk. 

MARL. You, Jeremy! Come forward, sirrah. What 
were my orders ? Were you not told to drink freely, 
and call for what you thought fit, for the good of the 
house ? 

HARD. \Aside^\ I begin to lose my patience. 

JEREMY. Please your honour, liberty and Fleet Street 
for ever ! Though I 'm but a servant, I 'm as good 

T 145 




your, 



/or 



, /i6ejrfu a/nc) 



as another man. I '11 drink for no man before 
supper, sir! Good liquor will sit upon a good 
supper; but a good supper will not sit upon 
\hiccMp\ upon my conscience, sir. 
MARL. You see, my old friend, the fellow is as drunk 
as he can possibly be. I don't know what you'd 
have more, unless you 'd have the poor fellow soused 
in a beer-barrel. 
146 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

HARD. Zounds! He'll drive me distracted if I 
contain myself any longer. [Aside.} Mr. Marlow, 
sir ; I have submitted to your insolence for more than 
four hours, and I see no likelihood of its coming to 
an end. I 'm now resolved to be master here, sir ; 
and I desire that you and your drunken pack may 
leave my house directly. 

MARL. Leave your house ? Sure you jest, my good 
friend ! What ! when I 'm doing what I can to 
please you ? 

HARD. I tell you, sir, you don't please me ; so I desire 
you '11 leave my house. 

MARL. Sure you cannot be serious ! At this time 
o' night, and such a night! You only mean to 
banter me. 

HARD. I tell you, sir, I 'm serious ; and, now that my 
passions are roused, I say this house is mine, sir ; 
this house is mine, and I command you to leave it 
directly ! 

MARL. Ha ! ha ! ha ! A puddle in a storm. I shan't 
stir a step, I assure you. [In a serious tone^\ This 
your house, fellow! It's my house. This is my 
house. Mine, while I choose to stay. What right 
have you to bid me leave this house, sir? I never 
met with such impudence, never in my whole life 
before. 

HARD. Nor I, confound me if ever I did. To come 
to my house, to call for what he likes, to turn me out 
of my own chair, to insult the family, to order his 
servants to get drunk, and then to tell me, This 

H7 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT iv. 

house is mine, sir. By all that 's impudent, it makes 
me laugh. Ha ! ha ! Pray, sir \bantering\ as you 
take the house, what think you of taking the rest 
of the furniture? There's a pair of silver candle- 
sticks, and there 's a fire-screen, and here 's a pair of 
brazen-nosed bellows perhaps you may take a fancy 
to them. 

MARL. Bring me your bill, sir ; bring me your bill, and 
let 's make no more words about it. 

HARD. There are a set of prints, too. What think 
you of the ' Rake's Progress ' for your own apart- 
ment? 

MARL. Bring me your bill, I say ; and I '11 leave you 
and your house directly. 

HARD. Then there's a mahogany table, that you may 
see your own face in. 

MARL. My bill, I say. 

HARD. I had forgot the great chair, for your own 
particular slumbers, after a hearty meal. 

MARL. Zounds! bring me my bill, I say; and let's 
hear no more on 't. 

HARD. Young man, young man, from your father's 
letter to me, I was taught to expect a well-bred, 
modest man as a visitor here ; but now I find him 
no better than a coxcomb, and a bully. But he 
will be down here presently, and shall hear more 
of it. {Exit. 

MARL. How's this? Sure I have not mistaken the 
house ! Everything looks like an inn. The servants 
cry, Coming. The attendance is awkward ; the bar- 
148 



sc. i ] She Stoops to Conquer 

maid, too, to attend us. But she's here, and will 
further inform me. Whither so fast, child? A 
word with you. 

Enter Miss HARDCASTLE. 

Miss HARD. Let it be short, then. I 'm in a hurry. 
[^4 side.] I believe he begins to find out his mistake ; 
but it 's too soon quite to undeceive him. 

MARL. Pray, child, answer me one question. What 
are you, and what may your business in this 
house be? 

Miss HARD. A relation >f the family, sir. 

MARL. What ! a poor relation ? 

Miss HARD. Yes, sir; a poor relation, appointed to 
keep the keys, and to see that the guests want 
nothing in my power to give them. 

MARL. That is, you act as the barmaid of this inn. 

Miss HARD. Inn! Oh, la! What brought that in 
your head ? One of the best families in the county 
keep an inn ! Ha ! ha ! ha ! old Mr. Hardcastle's 
house an inn ! 

MARL. Mr. Hardcastle's house ! Is this house Mr. 
Hardcastle's house, child? 

Miss HARD. Ay, sure. Whose else should it be? 

MARL. So then all 's out, and I have been imposed on. 
Oh, confound my stupid head ! I shall be laughed 
at over the whole town. I shall be stuck up in 
caricatura in all the print shops ; the Dullissimo 
Maccaroni. To mistake this house, of all others, for 
an inn ; and my father's old friend for an innkeeper ! 

149 




c 



8 




: 




JfCeaoen, sAe weeps. 



ACT 4. SCENE 1. 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

What a swaggering puppy must he take me for! 
What a silly puppy do I find myself! There again, 
may I be hanged, my dear, but I mistook you for the 
barmaid. 

Miss HARD. Dear me ! dear me ! I 'm sure there 's 
nothing in my behaviour to put me upon a level with 
one of that stamp. 

MARL. Nothing, my dear, nothing. But I was in for 
a list of blunders, and could not help making you a 
subscriber. My stupidity saw everything the wrong 
way. I mistook your assiduity for assurance, and 
your simplicity for allurement. But it 's over. This 
house I no more show my face in. 

Miss HARD. I hope, sir, I have done nothing to 
disoblige you. I 'm sure I should be sorry to affront 
any gentleman who has been so polite, and said so 
many civil things to me. I 'm sure I should be sorry 
[pretending to cry] if he left the family upon my 
account. I 'm sure I should be sorry, people said 
anything amiss, since I have no fortune but my 
character. 

MARL. [Aside.} By Heaven, she weeps. This is the 
first mark of tenderness I ever had from a modest 
woman, and it touches me. [To her.~\ Excuse me, 
my lovely girl, you are the only part of the family I 
leave with reluctance. But to be plain with you^ the 
difference of our birth, fortune, and education, make 
an honourable connection impossible; and I can 
never harbour a thought of bringing ruin upon one 
whose only fault was being too lovely. 

u 153 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT iv. 

Miss HARD. \_AsideI\ Generous man ! I now begin to 
admire him. \To him\ But I 'm sure my family is 
as good as Mr. Hardcastle 's ; and though I 'm poor, 
that's no great misfortune to a contented mind ; and 
until this moment, I never thought that it was bad 
to want fortune. 

MARL. And why now, my pretty simplicity ? 

Miss HARD. Because it puts me at a distance from 
one, that if I had a thousand pound, I would give it 
all to. 

MARL. \Aside.~\ This simplicity bewitches me so, that 
if I stay I 'm undone. I must make one bold effort, 
and leave her. \To her.} Your partiality in my 
favour, my dear, touches me most sensibly ; and 
were I to live for myself alone, I could easily fix my 
choice. But I owe too much to the opinion of the 
world, too much to the authority of a father, so that 
I can scarcely speak it it affects me. Farewell. 

[Exit. 

Miss HARD. I never knew half his merit till now. 
He shall not go, if I have power or art to detain him. 
I 'Instill preserve the character jqjwhich J_ stoopecU-tQ^ 
conquer ; but will unde~ceive my papa, who, perhaps, 
may laugh him out of his resolution. \Exit. 

Enter TONY, Miss NEVILLE. 

TONY. Ay, you may steal for yourselves the next time. 
I have done my duty. She has got the jewels again, 
that 's a sure thing ; but she believes it was all - a 
mistake of the servants. 

154 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

Miss NEV. But, my dear cousin, sure you won't for- 
sake us in this distress. If she in the least suspects 
that I 'm going off, I shall certainly be locked up, or 
sent to my Aunt Pedigree's, which is ten times 
worse. 

TONY. To be sure, aunts of all kinds are bad things ; 
but what can I do ? I have got you a pair of horses 
that will fly like Whistle-jacket, and I 'm sure you 
can't say but I have courted you nicely before her 
face. Here she comes ; we must court a bit or two 
more, for fear she should suspect us. 

[They retire and seem to fondle. 



Enter MRS. HARDCASTLE. 

MRS. HARD. Well, I was greatly fluttered, to be sure. 
But my son tells me it was all a mistake of the 
servants. I shan't be easy, however, till they are 
fairly married, and then let her keep her own fortune. 
But what do I see ? Fondling together, as I 'm alive. 
I never saw Tony so sprightly before. Ah ! have 
I caught you, my pretty doves ? What ! billing, 
exchanging stolen glances, and broken murmurs? 
Ah! 

TONY. As for murmurs, mother, we grumble a little, 
now and then, to be sure. But there's no love lost 
between us. 

MRS. HARD. A mere sprinkling, Tony, upon the flame, 
only to make it burn brighter. 

Miss NEV. Cousin Tony promises to give us more of 

155 



admiring that pleasant, broad, red, 
thoughtless ah! it s a bold face. 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

his company at home. Indeed, he shan't leave us 
any more. It won't leave us, Cousin Tony, will it ? 

TONY. Oh ! it 's a pretty creature. No, I 'd sooner 
leave my horse in a pound, than leave you, when 
you smile upon one so. Your laugh makes you so 
becoming. 

Miss NEV. Agreeable cousin ! Who can help admir- 
ing that natural humour, that pleasant, broad, red, 
thoughtless [patting his cheek\, ah ! it 's a bold face. 

MRS. HARD. Pretty innocence ! 

TONY. I 'm sure I always loved Cousin Con's hazel 
eyes, and her pretty long fingers, that she twists this 
way and that, over the haspicholls, like a parcel of 
bobbins. 

MRS. HARD. Ah 1 he would charm the bird from the 
tree. I was never so happy before. My boy takes 
after his father, poor Mr. Lumpkin, exactly. The 
jewels, my dear Con, shall be yours incontinently. 
You shall have them. Isn't he a sweet boy, my 
dear? You shall be married to-morrow, and we'll 
put off the rest of his education, like Mr. Drowsy's 
sermons, to a fitter opportunity. 

Enter DIGGORY. 

DIGG. Where's the 'squire? I have got a letter for 

your worship. 
TONY. Give it to my mamma. She reads all my 

letters first. 
DIGG. I had orders to deliver it into your own hands. 

159 



\ 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT iv. 

TONY. Who does it come from ? 

DIGG. Your worship mun ask that o' the letter itself. 

TONY. I could wish to know though. [Turning the 
letter and gazing on it.} 

Miss NEV. \Aside^\ Undone, undone! A letter to 
him from Hastings. I know the hand. If my aunt 
sees it, we are ruined for ever. I '11 keep her 
employed a little, if I can. [To MRS. HARDCASTLE.] 
But I have not told you, madam, of my cousin's 
smart answer just now to Mr. Marlow. We so 
laughed. You must know, madam this way a little ; 
for he must not hear us. [They confer.} 

TONY. [Still gazing.} A cramp piece of penman- 
ship, as ever I saw in my life. I can read your 
print hand very well. But here there are such 
handles, and shanks, and dashes, that one can 
scarce tell the head from the tail. ' To Anthony 
Lumpkin, Esq.' It's very odd, I can read the 
outside of my letters, where my own name is, 
well enough. But when I come to open it, it is 
all buzz. That 's hard, very hard ; for the inside 
of the letter is always the cream of the corre- 
spondence. 

MRS. HARD. Ha ! ha ! ha ! Very well, very well. 
And so my son was too hard for the philosopher. 

Miss NEV. Yes, madam ; but you must hear the rest, 
madam. A little more this way, or he may hear us. 
You'll hear how he puzzled him again. 

MRS. HARD. He seems strangely puzzled now himself, 
methinks. 
1 60 




TONY. [5/z7/ gazing.] An up and down hand, as if it 
was disguised in liquor. [Reading] ' Dear Sir.' 
Ay, that 's that. Then there 's an M, and a 7", and 
a 5; but whether the next be izzard or an R, 
confound me, I cannot tell. 

MRS. HARD. What 's that, my dear ? Can I give you 
any assistance ? 

Miss NEV. Pray, aunt, let me read it. Nobody reads 
x 161 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT iv. 

a cramp hand better than I. [Twitching the letter 
from him.} Do you know who it is from ? 

TONY. Can't tell, except from Dick Ginger, the feeder. 

Miss NEV. Ay, so it is. [Pretending to read.} ' Dear 
'Squire, Hoping that you 're in health, as I am at 
this present. The gentlemen of the Shake-bag club 
has cut the gentleman of the Goose-green quite out 
of feather. The odds um odd battle um long 
fighting um ' Here, here ; it 's all about cocks 
and fighting; it's of no consequence; here, put it 
up, put it up. [ Thrusting the crumpled letter upon 
him.} 

TONY. But I tell you, miss, it 's of all the consequence 
in the world. I would not lose the rest of it for 
a guinea. Here, mother, do you make it out. Of 
no consequence! [Giving MRS. HARDCASTLE the 
letter} 

MRS. HARD. How's this? [Reads.} 

Dear 'Squire, I 'm now waiting for Miss Neville, with a 
post-chaise and pair, at the bottom of the garden, but I find 
my horses yet unable to perform the journey. I expect 
you '11 assist us with a pair of fresh horses, as you promised. 
Dispatch is necessary, as the hag [ay, the hag], your mother, 
will otherwise suspect us. Yours, HASTINGS. 

Grant me patience! I shall run distracted. My 
rage chokes me ! 

Miss NEV. I hope, madam, you'll suspend your 
resentment for a few moments, and not impute to 
me any impertinence, or sinister design that belongs 
to another. 
162 



sc. I ] She Stoops to Conquer 

MRS. HARD. \Curtseying very low.} Fine spoken 
madam, you are most miraculously polite and 
engaging, and quite the very pink of courtesy and 
circumspection, madam. [Changing her tone?\ And 
you, you great ill-fashioned oaf, with scarce sense 
enough to keep your mouth shut! were you, too, 
joined against me? But I '11 defeat all your plots in 
a moment. As for you, madam, since you have got 
a pair of fresh horses ready, it would be cruel to 
disappoint them. So, if you please, instead of 
running away with your spark, prepare, this very 
moment, to run off with me. Your old Aunt 
Pedigree will keep you secure, I '11 warrant me. 
You too, sir, may mount your horse, and guard 
us upon the way. Here, Thomas, Roger, Diggory, 
I '11 show you that I wish you better than you do 
yourselves. \Rxit. 

Miss NEV. So now I 'm completely ruined. 

TONY. Ay, that 's a sure thing. 

Miss NEV. What better could be expected, from being 
connected with such a stupid fool, and after all the 
nods and signs I made him ? 

TONY. By the laws, miss, it was your own cleverness, 
and not my stupidity, that did your business. You 
were so nice, and so busy, with your Shake-bags 
and Goose-greens, that I thought you could never be 
making believe. 

Enter HASTINGS. 

HAST. So, sir, I find by my servant that you have 

163 




W 




'net you, you great ill-fashioned oaf 

ACT 4. SCENE 1. 




sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

shown my letter and betrayed us. Was this well 
done, young gentleman ? 

TONY. Here 's another. Ask miss, there, who betrayed 
you. Ecod, it was her doing, not mine. 

Enter MARLOW. 

MARL. So, I have been finely used here among you. 

Rendered contemptible, driven into ill manners, 

despised, insulted, laughed at. 
TONY. Here's another. We shall have old Bedlam 

broke loose presently. 
Miss NEV. And there, sir, is the gentleman to whom 

we all owe every obligation. 
MARL. What can I say to him, a mere boy, an idiot, 

whose ignorance and age are a protection ? 
HAST. A poor contemptible booby, that would but 

disgrace correction. 
Miss NEV. Yet with cunning and malice enough to 

make himself merry with all our embarrassments. 
HAST. An insensible cub ! 
MARL. Replete with tricks and mischief. 
TONY. Baw ! but I '11 fight you both, one after the 

other with baskets. 
MARL. As for him, he 's below resentment. But your 

conduct, Mr. Hastings, requires an explanation. 

You knew of my mistakes, yet would not undeceive 

me. 

HAST. Tortured as I am with my own disappoint- 
ments, is this a time for explanations? It is not 

friendly, Mr. Marlow. 

167 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT iv. 

MARL. But, sir 

Miss NEV. Mr. Marlow, we never kept on your 

mistake, till it was too late to undeceive you. Be 

pacified. 

Enter Servant. 

SERV. My mistress desires you'll get ready imme- 
diately, madam. The horses are putting to. Your 
hat and things are in the next room. We are to go 
thirty miles before morning. [Exit Servant. 

Miss NEV. Well, well ; I '11 come presently. 

MARL. [To HASTINGS.] Was it well done, sir, to 
assist in rendering me ridiculous ? To hang me out 
for the scorn of all my acquaintance ? Depend upon 
it, sir, I shall expect an explanation. 

HAST. Was it well done, sir, if you 're upon that 
subject, to deliver what I entrusted to yourself to 
the care of another, sir ? 

Miss NEV. Mr. Hastings, Mr. Marlow, why will you 
increase my distress by this groundless dispute. I 
implore, I entreat you 

Enter Servant. 

SERV. Your cloak, madam. My mistress is impatient. 
Miss NEV. I come. Pray be pacified. If I leave you 
thus, I shall die with apprehension. 

Enter Servant. 

SERV. Your fan, muff, and gloves, madam. The 
horses are waiting. 
1 68 



sc. L] She Stoops to Conquer 

Miss NEV. Oh, Mr. Marlow! if you knew what a 
scene of constraint and ill-nature lies before me, I 'm 
sure it would convert your resentment into pity. 

MARL. I 'm so distracted with a variety of passions, 
that I don't know what I do. Forgive me, madam. 
George, forgive me. You know my hasty temper, 
and should not exasperate it. 

HAST. The torture of my situation is my only excuse. 

Miss NEV. Well, my dear Hastings, if you have that 
esteem for me that I think, that I am sure you have, 
your constancy for three years will but increase the 
happiness of our future connection. If 

MRS. HARD. \Within^ Miss Neville. Constance, 
why Constance, I say. 

Miss NEV. I 'm coming. Well, constancy. Re- 
member, constancy is the word. [Exit. 

HAST. My heart, how can I support this ! To be so 
near happiness, and such happiness ! 

MARL. [To TONY.] You see now, young gentleman, the 
effects of your folly. What might be amusement to 
you, is here disappointment, and even distress. 

TONY. [From a reverie.'] Ecod, I have hit it. It 's here. 
Your hands. Yours and yours, my poor sulky. 
My boots there, ho ! Meet me two hours hence at 
the bottom of the garden; and if you don't find Tony 
Lumpkin a more good-natured fellow than you 
thought for, I '11 give you leave to take my best horse, 
and Bet Bouncer into the bargain. Come along. 
My boots, ho ! [Exeunt. 

Y 169 



SCENE I 

Scene continues. 

Enter HASTINGS and Servant. 

HAST. You saw the old lady and Miss Neville drive 
off, you say? 

SERV. Yes, your honour ; they went off in a post-coach, 
and the young 'squire went on horseback. They 're 
thirty miles off by this time. 

HAST. Then all my hopes are over. 

SERV. Yes, sir. Old Sir Charles is arrived. He and 
the old gentleman of the house have been laughing 
at Mr. Marlow's mistake this half-hour. They are 
coming this way. 

HAST. Then I must not be seen. So now to my fruit- 
less appointment at the bottom of the garden. This 
is about the time. \Exit. 

Enter SIR CHARLES and HARDCASTLE. 

HARD. Ha ! ha ! ha ! The peremptory tone in which 

he sent forth his sublime commands ! 
SIR CHARLES. And the reserve with which I suppose 

he treated all your advances ! 

173 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT v. 

HARD. And yet he might have seen something in me 
above a common innkeeper, too. 

SIR CHARLES. Yes, Dick, but he mistook you for an 
uncommon innkeeper, ha ! ha ! ha ! 

HARD. Well, I 'm in too good spirits to think of any- 
thing but joy. Yes, my dear friend, this union of our 
families will make our personal friendships heredi- 
tary; and though my daughter's fortune is but 
small 

SIR CHARLES. Why, Dick, will you talk of fortune 
to me! My son is possessed of more than a 
competence already, and can want nothing but a 
good and virtuous girl to share his happiness and 
increase it. If they like each other, as you say 
they do 

HARD. If, man ! I tell you they do like each other. 
My daughter as good as told me so. 

SIR CHARLES. But girls are apt to flatter themselves, 
you know. 

HARD. I saw him grasp her hand in the warmest 
manner myself ; and here he comes, to put you out 
of your ifs, I warrant him. 

Enter MARLOW. 

MARL. I come, sir, once more, to ask pardon for my 
strange conduct. I can scarce reflect on my insolence 
without confusion. 

HARD. Tut, boy, a trifle. You take it too gravely. 
An hour or two's laughing with my daughter will 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

set all to rights again. She'll never like you the 

worse for it. 

MARL. Sir, I shall be always proud of her approbation. 
HARD. Approbation is but a cold word, Mr. Marlow: 

if I am not deceived, you have something more than 

approbation thereabouts. You take me ? 
MARL. Really, sir, I have not that happiness. 
HARD. Come, boy, I 'm an old fellow, and know what 's 

what, as well as you that are younger. I know what 

has passed between you ; but mum. 
MARL. Sure, sir, nothing has passed between us, but 

the most profound respect on my side, and the most 

distant reserve on hers. You don't think, sir, that 

my impudence has been passed upon all the rest 

of the family ? 
HARD. Impudence ! No, I don't say that. Not quite 

impudence. Though girls like to be played with, 

and rumpled a little too, sometimes. But she has 

told no tales, I assure you. 
MARL. I never gave her the slightest cause. 
HARD. Well, well, I like modesty in its place well 

enough. But this is over-acting, young gentleman. 

You may be open. Your father and I will like you 

the better for it. 

MARL. May I die, sir, if I ever 

HARD. I tell you, she don't dislike you ; and as I 'm 

sure you like her 

MARL. Dear sir I protest, sir 

HARD. I see no reason why you should not be joined 

as fast as the parson can tie you. 

175 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT v. 



MARL. But hear me, sir- 



HARD. Your father approves the match, I admire it, 
every moment's delay will be doing mischief, so 

MARL. But why won't you hear me? By all that's 
just and true, I never gave Miss Hardcastle the 
slightest mark of my attachment, or even the most 
distant hint to suspect me of affection. We had but 
one interview, and that was formal, modest, and 
uninteresting. 

HARD. \Aside^\ This fellow's formal, modest impu- 
dence is beyond bearing. 

SIR CHARLES. And you never grasped her hand, or 
made any protestations ? 

MARL. As Heaven is my witness, I came down in 
obedience to your commands. I saw the lady 
without emotion, and parted without reluctance. I 
hope you '11 exact no further proofs of my duty, nor 
prevent me from leaving a house in which I suffer so 
many mortifications. \_Rxit. 

SIR CHARLES. I 'm astonished at the air of sincerity 
with which he parted. 

HARD. And I 'm astonished at the deliberate intre- 
pidity of his assurance. 

SIR CHARLES. I dare pledge my life and honour upon 
his truth. 

HARD. Here comes my daughter, and I would stake 
my happiness upon her veracity. 

Enter Miss HARDCASTLE. 

HARD. Kate, come hither, child. Answer us sincerely, 
176 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

and without reserve : has Mr. Marlow made you any 
professions of love and affection ? 

Miss HARD. The question is very abrupt, sir. But 
since you require unreserved sincerity, I think he has. 

HARD. [To SIR CHARLES.] You see. 

SIR CHARLES. And pray, madam, have you and my 
son had more than one interview? 

Miss HARD. Yes, sir, several. 

HARD. [To SIR CHARLES.] You see. 

SIR CHARLES. But did he profess any attachment ? 

Miss HARD. A lasting one. 

SIR CHARLES. Did he talk of love ? 

Miss HARD. Much, sir. 

SIR CHARLES. Amazing ! and all this formally ? 

Miss HARD. Formally. 

HARD. Now, my friend, I hope you are satisfied ? 

SIR CHARLES. And how did he behave, madam ? 

Miss HARD. As most professed admirers do. Said 

some civil things of my face ; talked much of his 

want of merit, and the greatness of mine ; mentioned 

his heart; gave a short tragedy speech, and ended 

\ with pretended rapture. 

SIR CHARLES. Now I 'm perfectly convinced, indeed. 
I know his conversation among women to be modest 
and submissive. This forward, canting, ranting 
manner by no means describes him, and I am 
confident he never sat for the picture. 

Miss HARD. Then what, sir, if I should convince you 
to your face of my sincerity ? If you and my papa, 
in about half an hour, will place yourselves behind 
z 177 




& 

&fo 




hoio did fie 6e/iaoe, madam ? 




ACT 5. SCENE 1 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

that screen, you shall hear him declare his passion to 

me in person. 
SIR CHARLES. Agreed. And if I find him what you 

describe, all my happiness in him must have an end. 

[Exit. 
Miss HARD. And if you don't find him what I 

describe I fear my happiness must never have a 

beginning. [Exeunt. 



Scene changes to the back of the garden. 

Enter HASTINGS. 

HAST. What an idiot am I, to wait here for a fellow 
who probably takes a delight in mortifying me! 
He never intended to be punctual, and I '11 wait no 
longer. What do I see ? It is he, and perhaps with 
news of my Constance. 

Enter TONY, booted and spattered. 

HAST. My honest 'squire! I now find you a man of 
your word. This looks like friendship. 

TONY. Ay, I 'm your friend, and the best friend you 
have in the world, if you knew but all. This riding 
by night, by the bye, is cursedly tiresome. It has 
shook me worse than the basket of a stage-coach. 

HAST. But how? Where did you leave your fellow- 
travellers ? Are they in safety ? Are they housed ? 

TONY. Five-and-twenty miles in two hours and a 
half is no such bad driving. The poor beasts 

181 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT v. 

have smoked for it. Rabbit me, but I 'd rather ride 
forty miles after a fox, than ten with such varment. 

HAST. Well, but where have you left the ladies? I 
die with impatience. 

TONY. Left them? Why, where should I leave them, 
but where I found them ? 

HAST. This is a riddle. 

TONY. Riddle me this, then. What 's that goes round 
the house, and round the house, and never touches 
the house ? 

HAST. I 'm still astray. 

TONY. Why, that's it, mon. I have led them astray. 
By jingo, there 's not a pond or slough within five 
miles of the place, but they can tell the taste of. 

HAST. Ha, ha, ha ! I understand : you took them 
in a round, while they supposed themselves going 
forward. And so you have at last brought them 
home again. 

TONY. You shall hear. I first took them down 
Feather-bed Lane, where we stuck fast in the mud. 
I then rattled them crack over the stones of Up-and- 
Down Hill I then introduced them to the gibbet, 
on Heavy-tree Heath ; and from that with a circum- 
bendibus, I fairly lodged them in the horse-pond at 
the bottom of the garden. 

HAST. But no accident, I hope. 

TONY. No, no. Only mother is confoundedly frightened. 

She thinks herself forty miles off. She 's sick of the 

journey, and the cattle can scarce crawl. So, if your 

own horses be ready, you may whip off with cousin, 

182 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

and I '11 be bound that no soul here can budge a foot 
to follow you. 

HAST. My dear friend, how can I be grateful ? 

TONY. Ay, now it's dear friend, noble 'squire. Just 
now, it was all idiot, cub, and run me through the 
guts. Confound your way of fighting, I say. After 
we take a knock in this part of the country, we kiss 
and be friends. But, if you had run me through the 
guts, then I should be dead, and you might go kiss 
the hangman. 

HAST. The rebuke is just. But I must hasten to 
relieve Miss Neville ; if you keep the old lady 
employed, I promise to take care of the young one. 

\Exit HASTINGS. 

TONY. Never fear me. Here she comes. Vanish ! 
She's got from the pond, and draggled up to the 
waist like a mermaid. 



Enter MRS. HARDCASTLE. 

MRS. HARD. Oh, Tony, I 'm killed shook battered 

to death. I shall never survive it. That last jolt, 

that laid us against the quickset hedge, has done my 

business. 
TONY. Alack ! mamma, it was all your own fault. You 

would be for running away by night, without 

knowing one inch of the way. 
MRS. HARD. I wish we were at home again. I never 

met so many accidents in so short a journey. 

Drenched in the mud, overturned in a ditch, stuck 

183 




She Stoops to Conquer [ACT v. 

fast in a slough, jolted to a jelly, and at last to 

lose our way ! Whereabouts do you think we are, 

Tony? 
TONY. By my guess we should be upon Crackskull 

Common, about forty miles from home. 
MRS. HARD. Oh, lud ! oh, lud ! the most notorious 

spot in all the country. We only want a robbery to 

make a complete night on 't. 
TONY. Don't be afraid, mamma ! don't be afraid. Two 

of the five that were kept here are hanged, and the 

other three may not find us. Don't be afraid. Is 

that a man that 's galloping behind us ? No, it 's 

only a tree. Don't be afraid. 
MRS. HARD. The fright will certainly kill me. 
TONY. Do you see anything like a black hat moving 

behind the thicket ? 
MRS. HARD. Oh, death ! 
TONY. No, it 's only a cow. Don't be afraid, mamma : 

don't be afraid. 
MRS. HARD. As I 'm alive, Tony, I see a man coming 

towards us. Ah, I 'm sure on 't. If he perceives us, 

we are undone. 
TONY. \Aside^\ Father-in-law, by all that's unlucky, 

come to take one of his night walks. [To her.} 

Ah ! it 's a highwayman, with pistols as long as my 

arm. An ill-looking fellow. 

MRS. HARD. Good Heaven defend us ! He ap- 
proaches. 
TONY. Do you hide yourself in that thicket, and leave 

me to manage him. If there be any danger, I '11 
184 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

cough and cry hem ! When I cough, be sure to 
keep close. 

[MRS. HARDCASTLE hides behind a tree, in the 
back scene. 



Enter HARDCASTLE. 

HARD. I 'm mistaken, or I heard voices of people in 
want of help. Oh, Tony, is that you ? I did not 
expect you so soon back. Are your mother and her 
charge in safety? 

TONY. Very safe, sir, at my Aunt Pedigree's. Hem I 

MRS. HARD. [From behind.] Ah, death ! I find 
there's danger. 

HARD. Forty miles in three hours ; sure that 's too 
much, my youngster. 

TONY. Stout horses and willing minds make short 
journey, as they say. Hem ! 

MRS. HARD. [From behind.] Sure he'll do the dear 
boy no harm ! 

HARD. But I heard a voice here ; I shall be glad to 
know from whence it came. 

TONY. It was I, sir ; talking to myself, sir. I was 
saying, that forty miles in three hours was very 
good going hem ! As, to be sure, it was hem ! I 
have got a sort of cold by being out in the air. 
We '11 go in, if you please hem ! 

HARD. But if you talked to yourself, you did not 
answer yourself. I am certain I heard two voices, 
and am resolved [raising his voice] to find the other 
out. 

2 A 185 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT v. 

MRS. HARD. [From behind.'] Oh ! he 's coming to 
find me out. Oh ! 

TONY. What need you go, sir, if I tell you hem ! 
I '11 lay down my life for the truth hem ! I '11 tell 
you all, sir. [Detaining him. 

HARD. I tell you, I will not be detained. I insist on 
seeing. It 's in vain to expect I '11 believe you. 

MRS. HARD. [Running forward from behind.'] Oh, 
lud, he '11 murder my poor boy, my darling 1 Here, 
good gentleman, whet your rage upon me. Take 
my money, my life, but spare that young gentleman ; 
spare my child, if you have any mercy. 

HARD. My wife ! as I 'm a Christian. From whence 
can she come, or what does she mean ? 

MRS. HARD. [Kneeling.] Take compassion on us, 
good Mr. Highwayman. Take our money, our 
watches, all we have ; but spare our lives. We will 
never bring you to justice ; indeed, we won't, good 
Mr. Highwayman. 

HARD. I believe the woman's out of her senses. 
What ! Dorothy, don't you know me ? 

MRS. HARD. Mr. Hardcastle, as I 'm alive ! My fears 
blinded me. But who, my dear, could have 
expected to meet you here, in this frightful place, 
so far from home? What has brought you to 
follow us ? 

HARD. Sure, Dorothy, you have not lost your wits? 

So far from home, when you are within forty yards 

of your own door? [To him.] This is one of your 

old tricks, you graceless rogue you. [To her.] 

1 86 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

Don't you know the gate, and the mulberry 

tree? and don't you remember the horse-pond, my 

dear? 
MRS. HARD. Yes, I shall remember the horse-pond 

as long as I live : I have caught my death in it. 

[To TONY.] And is it to you, you graceless varlet, I 

owe all this ? I '11 teach you to abuse your mother, 

I will. 
TONY. Ecod, mother, all the parish says you have 

spoiled me, and so you may take the fruits on 't. 
MRS. HARD. I '11 spoil you, I will. 

\Follows him off the stage. Exit. 
HARD. There 's morality, however, in his reply. \_Exit. 

Enter HASTINGS and Miss NEVILLE. 

HAST. My dear Constance, why will you deliberate 
thus? If we delay a moment, all is lost for ever. 
Pluck up a little resolution, and we shall soon be 
out of the reach of her malignity. 

Miss NEV. I find it impossible. My spirits are so 
sunk with the agitations I have suffered, that I am 
unable to face any new danger. Two or three years' 
patience will at last crown us with happiness. 

HAST. Such a tedious delay is worse than inconstancy. 
Let us fly, my charmer. Let us date our happiness 
from this very moment. Perish fortune ! Love 
and content will increase what we possess, beyond 
a monarch's revenue. Let me prevail. 

Miss NEV. No, Mr. Hastings ; no. Prudence once 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT v. 

more comes to my relief, and I will obey its dictates. 

In the moment of passion, fortune may be despised ; 

but it ever produces a lasting repentance. I 'm 

resolved to apply to Mr. Hardcastle's compassion 

and justice for redress. 
HAST. But though he had the will, he has not the 

power to relieve you. 
Miss NEV. But he has influence, and upon that I am 

resolved to rely. 
HAST. I have no hopes. But since you persist, I must 

reluctantly obey you. {Exeunt. 

Scene changes. 

Enter SIR CHARLES and Miss HARDCASTLE. 

SIR CHARLES. What a situation am I in ! If what 
you say appears, I shall then find a guilty son. If 
what he says be true, I shall then lose one that, of 
all others, I most wished for a daughter. 

Miss HARD. I am proud of your approbation, and to 
show I merit it, if you place yourselves as I directed, 
you shall hear his explicit declaration. But he 
comes. 

SIR CHARLES. I '11 to your father, and keep him to the 
appointment. \_Exit SIR CHARLES. 

Enter MARLOW. 

MARL. Though prepared for setting out, I come once 
more to take leave ; nor did I, till this moment, 
know the pain I feel in this separation. 
1 88 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

Miss HARD. [In her own natural manner.} I believe 
these sufferings cannot be very great, sir, which you 
can so easily remove. A day or two longer, perhaps, 
might lessen your uneasiness, by showing the little 
value of what you now think proper to regret. 

MARL. {.Aside.} This girl every moment improves 
upon me. [To her.} It must not be, madam. I 
have already trifled too long with my heart. My 
very pride begins to submit to my passion. The 
disparity of education and fortune, the anger of a 
parent, and the contempt of my equals, begin to lose 
their weight, and nothing can restore me to myself 
but this painful effort of resolution. 

Miss HARD. Then go, sir. I '11 urge nothing more 
to detain you. Though my family be as good as 
hers you came down to visit, and my education, I 
hope, not inferior, what are these advantages, with- 
out equal affluence ? I must remain contented with 
the slight approbation of imputed merit; I must 
have only the mockery of your addresses, while all 
your serious aims are fixed on fortune. 

Enter HARDCASTLE and SIR CHARLES from behind. 

SIR CHARLES. Here, behind this screen. 

HARD. Ay, ay, make no noise. I '11 engage my Kate 
covers him with confusion at last. 

MARL. By heavens, madam, fortune was ever my 
smallest consideration. Your beauty at first caught 
my eye ; for who could see that without emotion ? 

189 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT v. 

But every moment that I converse with you, steals 
in some new grace, heightens the picture, and gives 
it stronger expression. What at first seemed rustic 
plainness now appears refined simplicity. What 
seemed forward assurance now strikes me as the 
result of courageous innocence and conscious virtue. 

SIR CHARLES. What can it mean ? He amazes me ! 

HARD. I told you how it would be. Hush ! 

MARL. I am now determined to stay, madam ; and I 
have too good an opinion of my father's discernment, 
when he sees you, to doubt his approbation. 

Miss HARD. No, Mr. Marlow, I will not, cannot 
detain you. Do you think I could suffer a con- 
nection in which there is the smallest room for 
repentance ? Do you think I would take the mean 
advantage of a transient passion, to load you with 
confusion ? Do you think I could ever relish that 
happiness which was acquired by lessening yours ? 

MARL. By all that's good, I can have no happiness 
but what's in your power to grant me. Nor shall 
I ever feel repentance, but in not having seen your 
merits before. I will stay, even contrary to your 
wishes ; and though you should persist to shun me, 
I will make my respectful assiduities atone for the 
levity of my past conduct. 

Miss HARD. Sir, I must entreat you '11 desist. As our 
acquaintance began, so let it end, in indifference. 
I might have given an hour or two to levity ; but 
seriously, Mr. Marlow, do you think I could ever 
submit to a connection where / must appear merce- 
190 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

nary, and you imprudent? Do you think I could 
ever catch at the confident addresses of a secure 
admirer ? 

MARL. [Kneeling.] Does this look like security? 
Does this look like confidence ? No, madam ; every 
moment that shows me your merit only serves to 
increase my diffidence and confusion. Here let me 
continue 

SIR CHARLES. I can hold it no longer. Charles, 
Charles, how hast thou deceived me ! Is this your 
indifference, your uninteresting conversation ? 

HARD. Your cold contempt your formal interview? 
What have you to say now ? 

MARL. That I 'm all amazement ! What can it mean ? 

HARD. It means, that you can say and unsay things 
at pleasure. That you can address a lady in private, 
and deny it in public ; that you have one story for 
us, and another for my daughter. 

MARL. Daughter ! this lady your daughter ! 

HARD. Yes, sir, my only daughter ; my Kate. Whose 
else should she be ? 

MARL. Oh ! 

Miss HARD. Yes, sir, that very identical tall, squinting 
lady you were pleased to take me for. [Curtseying.] 
She that you addressed as the mild, modest, senti- 
mental man of gravity, and the bold, forward, 
agreeable Rattle of the ladies' club ; ha ! ha ! ha 1 

MARL. Zounds, there's no bearing this; it's worse 
than death. 

Miss HARD. In which of your characters, sir, will 

191 



x)oes f/ti's look like security? i)oes /fas look 
like confidence? 




sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

you give us leave to address you ? As the faltering 
gentleman, with looks on the ground, that speaks 
just to be heard, and hates hypocrisy ; or the loud 
confident creature, that keeps it up with Mrs. 
Mantrap, and old Miss Biddy Buckskin, till three in 
the morning? Ha! ha I ha! 

MARL. Oh, my noisy head ! I never attempted to 

be impudent yet, that I was not taken down. I 
must be gone. 

HARD. By the hand of my body, but you shall not. I 
see it was all a mistake, and I am rejoiced to find it. 
You shall not, sir, I tell you. I know she '11 forgive 
you. Won't you forgive him, Kate ? We '11 all 
forgive you. Take courage, man. 
[They retire, she tormenting him, to the back scene. 

Enter MRS. HARDCASTLE. TONY. 

MRS. HARD. So, so, they 're gone off. Let them go, 

I care not. 
HARD. Who gone ? 
MRS. HARD. My dutiful niece and her gentleman, Mr. 

Hastings, from town. He who came down with our 

modest visitor here. 
SIR CHARLES. Who, my honest George Hastings ? As 

worthy a fellow as lives ; and the girl could not have 

made a more prudent choice. 
HARD. Then, by the hand of my body, I 'm proud of 

the connection. 
MRS. HARD. Well, if he has taken away the lady, he 

195 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT v. 

has not taken her fortune ; that remains in this 
family, to console us for our loss. 

HARD. Sure, Dorothy, you would not be so mer- 
cenary. 

MRS. HARD. Ay, that 's my affair, not yours. 

HARD. But you know, if your son, when of age, refuses 
to marry his cousin, her whole fortune is then at her 
own disposal. 

MRS. HARD. Ay, but he 's not of age, and she has not 
thought proper to wait for his refusal. 

Enter HASTINGS and Miss NEVILLE. 

MRS. HARD. [Aside.] What I returned so soon. I 
begin not to like it. 

HAST. [To HARDCASTLE.] For my late attempt to fly 
off with your niece, let my present confusion be my 
punishment. We are now come back, to appeal from 
your justice to your humanity. By her father's 
consent, I first paid her my addresses, and our 
passions were first founded on duty. 

Miss NEV. Since his death, I have been obliged to 
stoop to dissimulation to avoid oppression. In an 
hour of levity, I was ready even to give up my 
fortune to secure my choice. But I am now 
recovered from the delusion, and hope, from your 
tenderness, what is denied me from a nearer 
connection. 

MRS. HARD. Pshaw, pshaw! this is all but the 
whining end of a modern novel. 
196 



sc. i.] She Stoops to Conquer 

HARD. Be it what it will, I 'm glad they 're come back 
to reclaim their due. Come hither, Tony boy. 
Do you refuse this lady's hand whom I now offer 
you? 

TONY. What signifies my refusing? You know I 
can't refuse her till I 'm of age, father. 

HARD. While I thought concealing your age, boy, 
was likely to conduce to your improvement, I 
concurred with your mother's desire to keep it 
secret. But since I find she turns it to a wrong use, 
I must now declare you have been of age these three 
months. 

TONY. Of age 1 Am I of age, father ? 

HARD. Above three months. 

TONY. Then you '11 see the first use I '11 make of my 
liberty. [Taking Miss NEVILLE'S hand] Witness all 
men by these presents, that I, Anthony Lumpkin, 
Esquire, of blank place, refuse you, Constantia 
Neville, spinster, of no place at all, for my true and 
lawful wife. So Constantia Neville may marry 
whom she pleases, and Tony Lumpkin is his own 
man again. 

SIR CHARLES. Oh, brave 'squire ! 

HAST. My worthy friend ! 

MRS. HARD. My undutiful offspring ! 

MARL. Joy, my dear George ; I give you joy sincerely. 
And could I prevail upon my little tyrant here to be 
less arbitrary, I should be the happiest man alive, if 
you would return me the favour. 

HAST. [To Miss HARDCASTLE.] Come, madam, you 

197 



She Stoops to Conquer [ACT v. 

are now driven to the very last scene of all your 
contrivances. I know you like him, I 'm sure he 
loves you, and you must and shall have him. 
HARD. {Joining their hands.} And I say so too. And, 
Mr. Marlow, if she makes as good a wife as she 
has a daughter, I don't believe you'll ever repent 
your bargain. So now to supper. To-morrow 
we shall gather all the poor of the parish about 
us ; and the mistakes of the night shall be crowned 
with a merry morning. So, boy, take her; and 
as you have been mistaken in the mistress, my 
wish is, that you may never be mistaken in the 
wife. 



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